Saints of the Day

Here’s the saint’s calendar for April 22, 2019, and some versions, each focusing on individual saints, all wonderful; for they are the Church Triumphant.

The Catholic Church has many saints and reading about their lives has been a spiritual journey Catholics have been on since the publication of the Golden Legend, http://sourcebooks.web.fordham.edu/basis/goldenlegend/

From Butler’s Calendar of the Saints listing all of the saints of today. https://web.archive.org/web/20061005020458/http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/day0422.htm

From Butler’s Lives of the Saints, St. SOTER, Pope, Martyr, “ST. SOTER was raised to the papacy upon the death of St. Anicetus, in 173. By the sweetness of his discourses he comforted all persons with the tenderness of a father, and assisted the indigent with liberal alms, especially those who suffered for the faith. He liberally extended his charities, according to the custom of his predecessors, to remote churches, particularly to that of Corinth, to which he addressed an excellent letter, as St. Dionysius of Corinth testifies in his letter of thanks, who adds that his letter was found worthy to be read for their edification on Sundays at their assemblies to celebrate the divine mysteries, together with the letter of St. Clement, pope. St. Soter vigorously opposed the heresy of Montanus, and governed the Church to the year 177.” http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/lots/lots130.htm and

St. LEONIDES, Martyr, “THE Emperor Severus, in the year 202, which was the tenth of his reign, raised a bloody persecution, which filled the whole empire with martyrs, but especially Egypt. The most illustrious of those who by their triumphs ennobled and edified the city of Alexandria was Leonides, father of the great Origen. He was a Christian philosopher, and excellently versed both in the profane and sacred sciences. He had seven sons, the eldest of whom was Origen, whom he brought up with abundance of care, returning God thanks for having blessed him with a son of such an excellent disposition for learning, and a very great zeal for piety. These qualifications endeared him greatly to his father, who, after his son was baptized, would come to his bedside while he was asleep, and, opening his bosom, kiss it respectfully, as being the temple of the Holy Ghost.

“When the persecution raged at Alexandria, under Lætus, governor of Egypt, in the tenth year of Severus, Leonides was cast into prison. Origen, who was then only seventeen years of age, burned with an incredible desire of martyrdom, and sought every opportunity of meeting with it. But his mother conjured him not to forsake her, and his ardor being redoubled at the sight of his father’s chains, she was forced to lock up all his clothes to oblige him to stay at home. So, not being able to do any more, he wrote a letter to his father in very moving terms, strongly exhorting him to look on the crown that was offered him with courage and joy, adding this clause, “Take heed, sir. that for our sakes you do not change your mind.” Leonides was accordingly beheaded for the faith in 202. His estates and goods being all confiscated, and seized for the emperor’s use, his widow was left with seven children to maintain in the poorest condition imaginable; but Divine Providence was both her comfort and support.” http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/lots/lots131.htm

Here is a wonderful daily devotional site offering much to reflect on, including their version of saint of the day, Anastpaul https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/

Here is what the 1962 Roman Missal says about St. Soter & Caius, Popes, Martyrs. “St. Soter was martyered in the second century under Marcus Aurelius, A. D. 174, and St. Caius was put to death A. D. 296.” (p. 1237) The Daily Missal and Liturgical Manual. (2004). To purchase this Missal for your library go to the publisher, Baronius Press: London: https://www.baroniuspress.com/book.php?wid=56&bid=4#tab=tab-1

Easter Sunday

From the Douay Rheims Bible:

The resurrection of Christ. His commission to his disciples.

[1] And in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. [2] And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and coming, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. [3] And his countenance was as lightning, and his raiment as snow. [4] And for fear of him, the guards were struck with terror, and became as dead men. [5] And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

[6] He is not here, for he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid. [7] And going quickly, tell ye his disciples that he is risen: and behold he will go before you into Galilee; there you shall see him. Lo, I have foretold it to you. [8] And they went out quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy, running to tell his disciples. [9] And behold Jesus met them, saying: All hail. But they came up and took hold of his feet, and adored him. [10] Then Jesus said to them: Fear not. Go, tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, there they shall see me.

[11] Who when they were departed, behold some of the guards came into the city, and told the chief priests all things that had been done. [12] And they being assembled together with the ancients, taking counsel, gave a great sum of money to the soldiers, [13] Saying: Say you, His disciples came by night, and stole him away when we were asleep. [14] And if the governor shall hear this, we will persuade him, and secure you. [15] So they taking the money, did as they were taught: and this word was spread abroad among the Jews even unto this day.

[16] And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. [17] And seeing him they adored: but some doubted. [18] And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. [19] Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. [20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

Retrieved April 21, 2019, Easter Sunday, from http://www.drbo.org/chapter/47028.htm

Saints of the Day

Here’s the saint’s calendar for April 21, 2019, and some versions, each focusing on individual saints, all wonderful; for they are the Church Triumphant.

The Catholic Church has many saints and reading about their lives has been a spiritual journey Catholics have been on since the publication of the Golden Legend, http://sourcebooks.web.fordham.edu/basis/goldenlegend/

From Butler’s Calendar of the Saints listing all of the saints of today. https://web.archive.org/web/20061013141905/http://www.catholic-forum.com/SAINTS/day0421.htm

From Butler’s Lives of the Saints, St. ANSELM, Archbishop. “ANSELM was a native of Piedmont. When a boy of fifteen, being forbidden to enter religion, he for a while lost his fervor, left his home, and went to various schools in France. At length his vocation revived, and he became a monk at Bec in Normandy. The fame of his sanctity in this cloister led William Rufus, when dangerously ill, to take him for his confessor, and to name him to the vacant see of Canterbury. Now began the strife of Anselm’s life. With new health the king relapsed into his former sins, plundered the Church lands, scorned the archbishop’s rebukes, and forbade him to go to Rome for the pallium. Anselm went, and returned only to enter into a more bitter strife with William’s successor, Henry I. This sovereign claimed the right of investing prelates with the ring and crozier, symbols of the spiritual jurisdiction which belongs to the Church alone.

“The worldly prelates did not scruple to call St. Anselm a traitor for his defence of the Pope’s supremacy; on which the Saint rose, and with calm dignity exclaimed, “If any man pretends that I violate my faith to my king because I will not reject the authority of the Holy See of Rome, let him stand forth, and in the name of God I will answer him as I ought” No one took up the challenge; and to the disappointment of the king, the barons sided with the Saint, for they respected his courage, and saw that his cause was their own. Sooner than yield, the archbishop went again into exile, till at last the king was obliged to submit to the feeble but inflexible old man. In the midst of his harassing cares, St. Anselm found time for writings which have made him celebrated as the father of scholastic theology; while in metaphysics and in science he had few equals. He is yet more famous for his devotion to our blessed Lady, whose Feast of the Immaculate Conception he was the first to establish in the West. He died in 1109.” http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/lots/lots129.htm

From Franciscan Media, St. Anselm, (1033 – April 21, 1109), “Indifferent toward religion as a young man, Anselm became one of the Church’s greatest theologians and leaders. He received the title “Father of Scholasticism” for his attempt to analyze and illumine the truths of faith through the aid of reason.

“At 15, Anselm wanted to enter a monastery, but was refused acceptance because of his father’s opposition. Twelve years later, after careless disinterest in religion and years of worldly living, he finally fulfilled his desire to be a monk. He entered the monastery of Bec in Normandy, was elected prior three years later, and 15 years later, was unanimously chosen abbot.

“Considered an original and independent thinker, Anselm was admired for his patience, gentleness, and teaching skill. Under his leadership, the Abbey of Bec became a monastic school, influential in philosophical and theological studies.

“During these years, at the community’s request, Anselm began publishing his theological works, comparable to those of Saint Augustine. His best-known work is the book Cur Deus Homo (“Why God Became Man”).

“Against his will, Anselm was appointed archbishop of Canterbury in 1093, at age 60. His appointment was opposed at first by England’s King William Rufus and later accepted. Rufus persistently refused to cooperate with efforts to reform the Church.

“Anselm finally went into voluntary exile until Rufus died in 1100. He was then recalled to England by Rufus’ brother and successor, Henry I. Disagreeing fearlessly with Henry over the king’s insistence on investing England’s bishops, Anselm spent another three years in exile in Rome.

“His care and concern extended to the very poorest people. Opposing the slave trade, Anselm obtained from the national council at Westminster the passage of a resolution prohibiting the sale of human beings.” https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-anselm/

Here is a wonderful daily devotional site offering much to reflect on, including their version of saint of the day, Anastpaul https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/

From Tradition in Action, St. Conrad of Parzham, “Johannes Birmensdorfer, the future Conrad, was born on December 22, 1818 in Parzham a village near Passau in Bavaria, Germany, into a very pious family of peasants.

“When he was still a boy, his colleagues would change the subject of their talk if it was bad when he would approach: “Here comes Johannes, let’s not talk about this any longer.” He always kept his head uncovered in his work in the fields, even in the heat of Summer because, sensing the presence of the majesty of God everywhere, he was in continuous prayer and for that reason he thought he should not use his hat.

“Johannes was the youngest son, so he was supposed to inherit the farm. This was a common custom of the area; the youngest son carried on the work of the father and received the farm. At age 30, Johanneshe left his family home and inheritance and entered the Capuchin Order as a lay brother. He was admitted with the name Conrad.

“After making his vows, Brother Conrad was assigned as porter of the Capuchin Monastery of Altötting. Attached to it was a famous Marian Sanctuary that attracted thousands of pilgrims. This meant that the porter was very busy with little time to rest. He worked 18 hours each day at the door.

“Brother Conrad spent 41 years at his post at the door, attending to this job with great tact and attention. Indeed, he was known for his patience and respect for others, humility, and piety; he was always willing to assist others and never lazy. No one ever saw him in a bad mood or heard him utter a useless word. He became a silent preacher, who infused respect in the visitors, converted sinners, consoled the afflicted and helped the poor.

“Once he wrote to a friend:

“My life is to love God, suffer, and marvel in ecstasies and prayers about the love God has for us, poor creatures. His love never ends. There is nothing in my occupations that separates me from this union with God. My book is the Cross. It suffices for me to look at it to know what I should do.”

“Three days before dying, he resigned his office of porter. He died on April 21, 1894.” https://traditioninaction.org/SOD/j175sd_ConradParzham4-21.html

Here is what the 1962 Roman Missal says about St. Anselm, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church. “St. Anselm, the famous Archbishop of Canterbury, was a Benedictine monk who fought intrepidly for the faith and liberty of the Church. He is one of the greatest philosophers and mystics of the eleventh century. He died A. D. 1109.” (p. 1236) The Daily Missal and Liturgical Manual. (2004). To purchase this Missal for your library go to the publisher, Baronius Press: London: https://www.baroniuspress.com/book.php?wid=56&bid=4#tab=tab-1

Christ Descends to Hell

From the Vatican website:

The Lord’s descent into hell

“What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.

Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam’s son.

The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit.’ And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.

‘I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.

‘I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.

‘For you, I your God became your son; for you, I the Master took on your form; that of slave; for you, I who am above the heavens came on earth and under the earth; for you, man, I became as a man without help, free among the dead; for you, who left a garden, I was handed over to Jews from a garden and crucified in a garden.

‘Look at the spittle on my face, which I received because of you, in order to restore you to that first divine inbreathing at creation. See the blows on my cheeks, which I accepted in order to refashion your distorted form to my own image.

‘See the scourging of my back, which I accepted in order to disperse the load of your sins which was laid upon your back. See my hands nailed to the tree for a good purpose, for you, who stretched out your hand to the tree for an evil one.

`I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side, for you, who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side healed the pain of your side; my sleep will release you from your sleep in Hades; my sword has checked the sword which was turned against you.

‘But arise, let us go hence. The enemy brought you out of the land of paradise; I will reinstate you, no longer in paradise, but on the throne of heaven. I denied you the tree of life, which was a figure, but now I myself am united to you, I who am life. I posted the cherubim to guard you as they would slaves; now I make the cherubim worship you as they would God.

“The cherubim throne has been prepared, the bearers are ready and waiting, the bridal chamber is in order, the food is provided, the everlasting houses and rooms are in readiness; the treasures of good things have been opened; the kingdom of heaven has been prepared before the ages.

A reading from an ancient homily for Holy Saturday

Prayer

Almighty, ever-living God, whose Only-begotten Son descended to the realm of the dead, and rose from there to glory, grant that your faithful people, who were buried with him in baptism, may, by his resurrection, obtain eternal life.
(We make our prayer) through our Lord.
(Through Christ our Lord.)

Retrieved April 20, 2019, Holy Saturday, from http://www.vatican.va/spirit/documents/spirit_20010414_omelia-sabato-santo_en.html

Holy Saturday

From The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by Anne Catherine Emmerich, [1862].

CHAPTER LVIII.

A Glance at the Disciples of Jesus on Holy Saturday.

THE faithful disciples of our Lord assembled together in the Cenaculum, to keep the eve of the Sabbath, They were about twenty in number, clothed in long white dresses, and with their waists girded. The room was lighted up by a lamp; and after their repast they separated, and for the most part returned home. They again assembled on the following morning, and sat together reading and praying by turns; and if a friend entered the room, they arose and saluted him cordially.

In that part of the house inhabited by the Blessed Virgin there was a large room, divided into small compartments like cells, which were used by the holy women for sleeping in at night. When they returned from the sepulchre, one of their number lighted a lamp which was hanging in the middle of the room, and they all assembled around the Blessed Virgin, and commenced praying in a mournful but recollected manner. A short time afterwards, Martha, Maroni, Dina, and Mara, who were just come with Lazarus from Bethania, where they had passed the Sabbath, entered the room. The Blessed Virgin and her companions gave them a detailed account of the death and burial of our Lord, accompanying each relation with many tears. The evening was advancing, and Joseph of Arimathea came in with a few other disciples, to ask whether any of the women wished to return to their homes, as they were ready to escort them. A few accepted the proposition, and set off immediately; but before they reached the tribunal of Caiphas, some armed men stopped Joseph of Arimathea, arrested, and shut him up in an old deserted turret.

Those among the holy women who did not leave the Cenaculum retired to take their rest in the cell-like compartments spoken of above: they fastened long veils over their heads, seated themselves sorrowfully on the floor, and leaned upon the couches which were placed against the wall. After a time they stood up, spread out the bedclothes which were rolled up on the couches, took off their sandals, girdles, and a part of their clothing, and reclined for a time in order to endeavour to get a little sleep. At midnight, they arose, clothed themselves, put up their beds, and reassembled around the lamp to continue their prayer with the Blessed Virgin.

When the Mother of Jesus and her pious companions had finished their nocturnal prayer (that holy duty which has been practised by all faithful children of God and holy souls, who have either felt themselves called to it by a special grace, or who follow a rule given by God and his Church), they heard a knock at the door. which was instantly opened, and John and some of the disciples who had promised to conduct them to the Temple, entered, upon which the women wrapped their cloaks about them, and started instantly. It was then about three, in the morning, and they went straight to the Temple, it being customary among many Jews to go there before day dawned, on the day after they had eaten the Paschal lamb; and for this reason the Temple was open from midnight, as the sacrifices commenced very early. They started at about the same hour as that at which the priests had put their seal upon the sepulchre. The aspect of things in the Temple was, however, very different from what was usually the case at such times, for the sacrifices were stopped, and the place was empty and desolate, as every one had left on account of the events on the previous day which had rendered it impure. The Blessed Virgin appeared to me to visit it for the sole purpose of taking leave of the place where she had passed her youth.

The Temple was, however, open; the lamps lighted, and the people at liberty to enter the vestibule of the priests, which was the customary privilege of this day, as well as of that which followed the Paschal supper. The Temple was, as I said before, quite empty, with the exception of a chance priest or server who might be seen wandering about; and every part bore the marks of the confusion into which all was thrown on the previous day by the extraordinary and frightful events that had taken place; besides which it had been defiled by the presence of the dead, and I reflected and wondered in my own mind whether it would be possible ever to purify it again.

The sons of Simeon, and the nephews of Joseph of Arimathea, were much grieved when they heard of the arrest of their uncle, but they welcomed the Blessed Virgin and her companions, and conducted them all over the Temple, which they did without difficulty, as they held the offices of inspectors of the Temple. The holy women stood in silence and contemplated all the terrible and visible marks of the anger of God with feelings of deep awe, and then listened with interest to the many stupendous details recounted by their guides. The effects of the earthquake were still visible, as little had been done towards repairing the numerous rents and cracks in the floor, and in the walls. In that part of the Temple where the vestibule joined the sanctuary, the wall was so tremendously shaken by the shock of the earthquake, as to produce a fissure wide enough for a person to walk through, and the rest of the wall looked unsteady, as if it might fall down at any moment. The curtain which hung in the sanctuary was rent in two and hung in shreds at the sides; nothing was to be seen around but crumbled walls, crushed flagstones, and columns either partly or quite Shaken down.

The Blessed Virgin visited all those parts which Jesus had rendered sacred in her eyes; she prostrated, kissed them, and with tears in her eyes explained to the others her reasons for venerating each particular spot, whereupon they instantly followed her example. The greatest veneration was always shown by the Jews for all places which had been rendered sacred by manifestations of the Divine power, and it was customary to place the hands reverently on such places, to kiss them, and to prostrate to the very earth before them. I do not think there was anything in the least surprising in such a custom, for they both knew, saw, and felt that the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, was a living God, and that his dwelling among his people was in the Temple at Jerusalem; consequently it would have been infinitely more astonishing if they had not venerated those holy parts where his power had been particularly demonstrated, for the Temple and the holy places were to them what the Blessed Sacrament is to Christians.

Deeply penetrated with these feelings of respect, the Blessed Virgin walked through the Temple with her companions, and pointed out to them the spot where she was presented when still a child, the parts where she passed her childhood, the place where she was affianced to St. Joseph, and the spot where she stood when she presented Jesus and heard the prophecy of Simeon: the remembrance of his words made her weep bitterly, for the prophecy was indeed fulfilled, and the sword. of grief had indeed transfixed her heart; she again stopped her companions when she reached the part of the Temple where she found Jews teaching, when she lost him at the age of twelve, and she respectfully kissed the ground on which he then stood. When the holy women had looked at every place sanctified by the presence of Jesus, when they had wept and prayed over them, they returned to Sion.

The Blessed Virgin did not leave the Temple without shedding many tears, as she contemplated the state of desolation to which it was reduced, an aspect of desolation which was rendered still more depressing by the marked contrast it bore to the usual state of the Temple on the festival day. Instead of songs and hymns of jubilee, a mournful silence reigned throughout the vast edifice, and in place of groups of joyful and devout worshippers, the eye wandered over a vast and dreary solitude. Too truly, alas, did this change betoken the fearful crime which had been perpetrated by the people of God, and she remembered how Jesus had wept over the Temple, and said, ‘Destroy this Temple and In three days I will build it up again.’ She thought over the destruction of the Temple of the Body of Jesus which had been brought about by his enemies, and she sighed with a longing desire for the dawning of that third day when the words of eternal truth were to be accomplished.

It was about daybreak when Mary and her companions reached the Cenaculum, and they retired into the building which stood on its right-hand side, while John and some of the disciples reëntered the Cenaculum, where about twenty men, assembled around a lamp, were occupied in prayer. Every now and then new-comers drew nigh to the door, came in timidity, approached the group round the lamp, and addressed them in a few mournful words, which they accompanied with tears. Every one appeared to regard John with feelings of respect; because he had remained with Jesus until he expired; but with these sentiments of respect was mingled a deep feeling of shame and confusion, when they reflected on their own cowardly conduct in abandoning their Lord and Master in the hour of need. John spoke to every one with the greatest charity and kindness; his manner was modest and unassuming as that of a child, and he seemed to fear receiving praise. I saw the assembled group take one meal during that day, but its members were, for the most part, silent; not a sound was to be heard throughout the house, and the doors were tightly closed, although, in fact, there was no likelihood of any one disturbing them, as the house belonged to Nicodemus, and he had let it to them for the time of the festival.

The holy women remained in this room until nightfall; it was lighted up by a single lamp; the doors were closed, and curtains drawn over the windows. Sometimes they gathered round the Blessed Virgin and prayed under the lamp; at other times they retired to the side of the room, covered their heads with black veils, and either sat on ashes (the sign of mourning), or prayed with their faces turned towards the wall; those whose, health was delicate took a little food, but the others fasted.

I looked at them again and again, and I saw them ever occupied in the same manner, that is to say, either in prayer or in mourning over the sufferings of their beloved Master. When my thoughts wandered from the contemplation of the Blessed Virgin to that of her Divine Son, I beheld the holy sepulchre with six or seven sentinels at the entrance–Cassius standing against the door of the cave, apparently in deep meditation, the exterior door closed, and the stone rolled close to it. Notwithstanding the thick door which intervened between the body of our Saviour and myself I could see it plainly; it was quite transparent with a divine light, and two angels were adoring at the side. But my thoughts then turned to the contemplation of the blessed soul of my Redeemer, and such an extensive and complicated picture of his descent into hell was shown to me, that I can only remember a small portion of it, which I will describe to the best of my power.

Retrieved April 20, 2019, Holy Saturday, from http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/pjc/pjc72.htm

Saints of the Day

Here’s the saint’s calendar for April 20, 2019, and some versions, each focusing on individual saints, all wonderful; for they are the Church Triumphant.

The Catholic Church has many saints and reading about their lives has been a spiritual journey Catholics have been on since the publication of the Golden Legend, http://sourcebooks.web.fordham.edu/basis/goldenlegend/

From Butler’s Calendar of the Saints listing all of the saints of today. https://web.archive.org/web/20061014211620/http://www.catholic-forum.com/Saints/day0420.htm

From Butler’s Lives of the Saints, St. MARCELLINUS, Bishop, “ST. MARCELLINUS was born in Africa, of a noble family; accompanied by Vincent and Domninus, he went over into Gaul, and there preached the Gospel, with great success, in the neighborhood of the Alps. He afterwards settled at Embrun, where he built a chapel in which he passed his nights in prayer, after laboring all the day in the exercise of his sacred calling. By his pious example as well as by his earnest words, he converted many of the heathens among whom he lived. He was afterwards made bishop of the people whom he had won over to Christ, but the date of his consecration is not positively known. Burning with zeal for the glory of God, he sent Vincent and Domninus to preach the faith in those parts which he could not visit in person. He died at Embrun about the year 374, and was there interred. St. Gregory of Tours, who speaks of Marcellinus in terms of highest praise, mentions many miracles as happening at his tomb.” http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/lots/lots128.htm

From Franciscan Media, St. Conrad of Parzham, (December 22, 1818 – April 21, 1894), “Conrad spent most of his life as porter in Altoetting, Bavaria, letting people into the friary and indirectly encouraging them to let God into their lives.

“His parents, Bartholomew and Gertrude Birndorfer, lived near Parzham, Bavaria. In those days, this region was recovering from the Napoleonic wars. A lover of solitary prayer and a peacemaker as a young man, Conrad joined the Capuchins as a brother. He made his profession in 1852 and was assigned to the friary in Altoetting. That city’s shrine to Mary was very popular; at the nearby Capuchin friary there was a lot of work for the porter, a job Conrad held for 41 years.

“At first, some of the other friars were jealous that such a young friar held this important job. Conrad’s patience and holy life overcame their doubts. As porter, he dealt with many people, obtaining many of the friary supplies and generously providing for the poor who came to the door. He treated them all with the courtesy Francis expected of his followers.

“Conrad’s helpfulness was sometimes unnerving. Once Father Vincent, seeking quiet to prepare a sermon, went up the belltower of the church. Conrad tracked him down when someone wanting to go to confession specifically requested Father Vincent.

“Conrad also developed a special rapport with the children of the area. He enthusiastically promoted the Seraphic Work of Charity, which aided neglected children.

“Conrad spent hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. He regularly asked the Blessed Mother to intercede for him and for the many people he included in his prayers. The ever-patient Conrad was canonized in 1934.” https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-conrad-of-parzham/

Here is a wonderful daily devotional site offering much to reflect on, including their version of saint of the day, Anastpaul https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/

Good Friday

Good Friday

A wonderful reflection accompanied with great art, from The Catholic Thing.

An excerpt.

Today is the bad day we call Good, recalling that “good” really means “holy,” and the day’s goodness is in Christ’s completed yet ongoing mission: our salvation. There can be no better remembrance of this terrible, blessed day than the Scriptural Stations of the Cross, which we present accompanied by watercolor paintings by French artist James J. Tissot (1836-1802).

The Brooklyn Museum describes the impetus of Tissot’s The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which the museum acquired in full in 1900:

Following a successful career painting London society, Tissot returned to Paris in 1882 to reestablish his reputation in his homeland, revisiting familiar fashionable terrain with a series of fifteen works called The Woman of Paris. While sketching for one of his subjects at the Church of Saint-Sulpice, however, he suddenly experienced a religious vision during the service: a bloodied but luminous Christ comforting the tattered poor in the rubble of a devastated building. . . . Tissot rededicated himself to the Catholicism of his youth and embarked on a ten-year project to illustrate the New Testament.

Tissot made two extended trips to the Holy Land. About his first visit in 1886, he wrote: “As soon as I arrived . . . I saw that there was no fear of my losing any of my illusions.” What he saw gave him “the direct impression of antiquity.” He described his project as “pencil reporting from the life of Christ.

  1. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:37-39)

Retrieved April 19, 2019 from https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2019/04/19/the-scriptural-stations-of-the-cross/

Saints of the Day

Here’s the saint’s calendar for April 19, 2019, and some versions, each focusing on individual saints, all wonderful; for they are the Church Triumphant.

The Catholic Church has many saints and reading about their lives has been a spiritual journey Catholics have been on since the publication of the Golden Legend, http://sourcebooks.web.fordham.edu/basis/goldenlegend/

From Butler’s Calendar of the Saints listing all of the saints of today. https://web.archive.org/web/20061005162207/http://www.catholic-forum.com/SAINTS/day0419.htm

From Butler’s Lives of the Saints, St. ELPHEGE, Archbishop. “ST. ELPHEGE was born in the year 954, of a noble Saxon family. He first became a monk in the monastery of Deerhurst, near Tewkesbury, England, and afterwards lived as a hermit near Bath, where he founded a community under the rule of St. Benedict, and became its first abbot. At thirty years of age he was chosen Bishop of Winchester, and twenty-two years later he became Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1011, when the Danes landed in Kent and took the city of Canterbury, putting all to fire and sword, St. Elphege was captured and carried off in the expectation of a large ransom.

He was unwilling that his ruined church and people should be put to such expense, and was kept in a loathsome prison at Greenwich for seven months. While so confined some friends came and urged him to lay a tax upon his tenants to raise the sum demanded for his ransom. “What reward can I hope for,” said he, “if I spend upon myself what belongs to the poor? Better give up to the poor what is ours, than take from them the little which is their own.” As he still refused to give ransom, the enraged Danes fell upon him in a fury, beat him with the blunt sides of their weapons, and bruised him with stones until one, whom the Saint had baptized shortly before, put an end to his sufferings by the blow of an axe. He died on Easter Saturday, April 19, 1012, his last words being a prayer for his murderers. His body was first buried in St. Paul’s, London, but was afterwards translated to Canterbury by King Canute. A church dedicated to St. Elphege still stands upon the place of his martyrdom at Greenwich.” http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/lots/lots127.htm

From Franciscan Media, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, (October 4, 1922 – April 28, 1962), “In less than 40 years, Gianna Beretta Molla became a pediatric physician, a wife, a mother and a saint!

“She was born in Magenta near Milano, the 10th of Alberto and Maria Beretta’s 13 children. An active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and a leader in the Catholic Action movement, Gianna also enjoyed skiing and mountain climbing. She earned degrees in medicine and surgery from the University of Pavia, eventually specializing in pediatrics. In 1952, Gianna opened a clinic in the small town of Mesero, where she met engineer Pietro Molla.

“Shortly before their 1955 marriage, Gianna wrote to Pietro: “Love is the most beautiful sentiment that the Lord has put into the soul of men and women.” In the next four years the Mollas had three children: Pierluigi, Mariolina, and Laura. Two pregnancies following ended in miscarriage.

“Early in her sixth pregnancy, doctors discovered that Gianna had both a child and a tumor in her uterus. She allowed the surgeons to remove the tumor but not to perform the complete hysterectomy that they recommended, which would have killed the child. Seven months later in April 1962, Gianna Emanuela Molla was born at the hospital in Monza, but post-operative complications resulted in an infection for her mother. The following week, Gianna Molla died at home in Mesero, where she was buried.

“Gianna Emanuela went on to become a physician herself. Gianna Beretta Molla was beatified in 1994 and canonized 10 years later.” https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-gianna-beretta-molla/

Here is a wonderful daily devotional site offering much to reflect on, including their version of saint of the day, Anastpaul https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/

From Tradition in Action, St. Leo IX, “Pope St. Leo IX lived from 1002 to 1054. His life was extraordinary in many ways. He came from a family of high nobility, and carried out every ecclesiastical office he exercised with excellence. When he was Bishop of Tour, he was considered the most handsome man of his time. His exterior appearance was set off by his distinguished elegance in dress and manners. In him the astuteness of the serpent was joined with the innocence of the dove, and for this reason the wise men of his time considered him the most prudent of all. He was so charitable that often he distributed so many of his goods to the poor that he himself was reduced to poverty.

“He excelled in both the human and divine sciences, especially in music. In this field he composed hymns in honor of St. Cyriac, Blessed Odilia and Pope St. Gregory the Great, Apostle of England. Humble and patient, he had an invincible constancy amid trial. The violence of the battle did not trouble him, nor did ambushes surprise him. Every year he used to make a pilgrimage to Rome to venerate St. Peter and the relics of other saints. His strong personality and great virtue raised up hatred against him, but he was deeply loved by the upright souls of his flock.” https://traditioninaction.org/SOD/j018sdSt.LeoIX_4-19.htm

Holy Thursday

A marvelous reflection from the National Catholic Register.

An excerpt.

As the Sacred Triduum begins Holy Thursday, the Church ponders three interconnected realities: Christ’s washing of the feet of his apostles, instituting the Eucharist, and establishing the priesthood to perpetuate the Eucharist in memory of him.

These are always inexhaustible mysteries to actualize in any liturgical cycle; this year, however, when we can feel as if we began Lent not just on Ash Wednesday but last June, with the re-emergence of clergy sexual-abuse crisis, they contain far more light and power. They contain the seed of the renewal of the priesthood and the true reform of the Church.

Jesus’ deeply troubled words at the beginning of the Last Supper, “Amen, amen I say to you, one of you will betray me” (John 13:21), were actually charitable. It would have been more accurate to say, “Truly I tell you, tonight all of you will betray me. You will deny me. You will run away from the cross. All but one of you will abandon me as I die for you.”

Despite his knowing all that would transpire, however, he accounted the eventual conversion of the Eleven weightier than the imminent betrayal of all Twelve — and courageously went ahead with the liturgical celebration of the new and eternal Passover. He rose from the table, removed his outer garments, girded himself with a towel, dropped to his knees, poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the apostles.

We are used to focusing on the Lord’s humility in doing so: He who took on the form of a slave (Philippians 2:6-11) did the work of a slave, washing the filth off his companions’ feet and leaving them an example of humble service to emulate.

But there is far greater significance to this gesture. As Pope Benedict emphasized in a 2008 Holy Thursday homily and in the second volume of his acclaimed Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus was symbolically cleansing them of their sins for the exercise of the priesthood and the celebration of the Eucharist. Jesus was washing not merely their soles, but their souls.

“Jesus’ gesture,” Pope Benedict wrote, “was a ‘sacrament’ (a visible sign) of the entire mystery of Christ — his life and death — in which he draws close to us, enters us through his Spirit and transforms us, [and] truly ‘cleanses’ us, renewing us from within.”

He expanded on the meaning of Jesus’ words to Peter: that he must wash his feet otherwise he would have no part in him, but didn’t need to wash his head and hands because he had been “already bathed.”

Pope Benedict commented, “The complete bath … can only mean Baptism, by which man is immersed into Christ once and for all, acquiring his new identity as one who dwells in Christ.”

In the life of every Christian, not to mention priest, the sacramental gift of baptism “constantly requires completion: ‘washing of feet.’ … We’ve been bathed in baptism but we need to be cleansed from the contact we have with the various ‘filth’ we encounter in the world, so that we may be ready to enter into divine worship.”

That’s what Jesus does in the sacrament of his mercy, Pope Benedict states, where Jesus is “continually on his knees at our feet and … carries out the service of … purification, making us capable of God.”

The basin in which he washes us is “his love, ready to face death. Only love has that purifying power that washes the grime from us and elevates us to God’s heights.” This is the means by which Jesus, “having loved his own who were in the world, loved them to the extreme” (John 13:1). This perpetual need for purification, found at the foundation of the priesthood, is likewise found at the beginning of every authentic renewal of the priesthood and of the Church. Christ seeks to renew his priesthood through the exercise of his mercy. And he does this as an example so that those priests so washed may in turn take that same basin of Christ’s mercy out to cleanse the sins of the world.

The Eucharist Jesus instituted immediately afterward is a continuation of that extreme mercy.

Jesus made the connection explicit in commanding the apostles to receive and drink the chalice of his blood, poured out for the remission of sins, and to do that in his memory. On Calvary the following day, he culminated his priestly sacrifice, begging the Father to forgive those for whose sins he was dying, “for they know not what they do.”

Good Friday begins, by Jesus’ request to St. Faustina Kowalska in the 1930s, a novena to his Divine Mercy. It finishes at the end of the Easter Octave, when the Church ponders Jesus’ establishing of the sacrament of his mercy: He wishes his peace on his apostles and says: “Just as the Father sent me, so I send you” — and we know that God the Father sent Jesus as the Lamb of God to take away the world’s sins — and breathes on them the power of the Holy Spirit to forgive and retain sins in his name.

Retrieved April 18, 2019 from http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/holy-thursday-and-divine-mercy

Saints of the Day

Here’s the saint’s calendar for April 18, 2019, and some versions, each focusing on individual saints, all wonderful; for they are the Church Triumphant.

The Catholic Church has many saints and reading about their lives has been a spiritual journey Catholics have been on since the publication of the Golden Legend, http://sourcebooks.web.fordham.edu/basis/goldenlegend/

From Butler’s Calendar of the Saints listing all of the saints of today. https://web.archive.org/web/20060917225722/http://www.catholic-forum.com/SAINTS/day0418.htm

From Butler’s Lives of the Saints, St. APOLLONIUS, Martyr. “MARCUS AURELIUS had persecuted the Christians, but his son Commodus, who in 180 succeeded him, showed himself favorable to them out of regard to his Empress Marcia, who was an admirer of the Faith. During this calm the number of the faithful was exceedingly increased, and many persons of the first rank, among them Apollonius, a Roman senator, enlisted themselves under the banner of the cross. He was a person very well versed both in philosophy and the Holy Scripture.

“In the midst of the peace which the Church enjoyed, he was publicly accused of Christianity by one of his own slaves. The slave was immediately condemned to have his legs broken, and to be put to death, in consequence of an edict of Marcus Aurelius, who, without repealing the former laws against convicted Christians, ordered by it that their accusers should be put to death. The slave being executed, the same judge sent an order to St. Apollonius to renounce his religion as he valued his life and fortune. The Saint courageously rejected such ignominious terms of safety, wherefore Perennis referred him to the judgment of the Roman senate, to give an account of his faith to that body. Persisting in his refusal to comply with the condition, the Saint was condemned by a decree of the Senate, and beheaded about the year 186.” http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/lots/lots126.htm

From Franciscan Media, Blessed James Oldo, (1364 – April 18, 1404), “You’ve heard rags-to-riches stories. Today, we celebrate the reverse.

“James of Oldo was born into a well-to-do family near Milan in 1364. He married a woman who like him, appreciated the comforts that came with wealth. But an outbreak of the plague drove James, his wife, and their three children out of their home and into the countryside. Despite those precautions, two of his daughters died from the plague. James determined to use whatever time he had left to build up treasures in heaven and to build God’s realm on earth.

“He and his wife became Secular Franciscans. James gave up his old lifestyle and did penance for his sins. He cared for a sick priest, who taught him Latin. Upon the death of his wife, James himself became a priest. His house was transformed into a chapel where small groups of people, many of them fellow Secular Franciscans, came for prayer and support. James focused on caring for the sick and for prisoners of war. He died in 1404 after contracting a disease from one of his patients.

“James Oldo was beatified in 1933.” https://www.franciscanmedia.org/blessed-james-oldo/

Here is a wonderful daily devotional site offering much to reflect on, including their version of saint of the day, Anastpaul https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/

From Tradition in Action, St. Galdinus of Milan, “Galdino or Galdinus (c. 1096 –1176), was the son of the noble della Sala family of Milan and was educated from his childhood for the ecclesiastical life. He received sacred orders after occupying various important positions and became the chancellor of the Church in Milan. In 1165, Pope Alexander III made him cardinal of that city.

“One of his first aims was to destroy the schism created by partisans of “pope” Victor IV favored by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and bring them to recognize the legitimate Pontiff Alexander III. In this mission he skillfully employed the diplomatic gifts he had acquired.

“Galdinus was very humble, even after reaching this elevated position. He was known for his sweetness and goodness, welcoming all as equals, except in the case of defending his position, when he was an example of fortitude and vigor.

“At that time the Cathars from Cologne were spreading their errors throughout Lombardy and the area of Milan. Galdinus strived zealously to uproot those heresies. His constant preaching and efforts weakened him and his physical strength waned.

“In 1176, the Sunday after conducting the Easter ceremonies, he went to the Altar Tecla in Milan Cathedral to celebrate Mass but found himself too weak to do so. Nonetheless, at the sermon he went to the pulpit and delivered a long and vehement homily refuting the heresies and infamies of the Cathars with greater violence than ever. As he finished, he fainted and lost consciousness. He died as the Mass ended, whose Gospel had been that of the Good Shepherd.” https://traditioninaction.org/SOD/j271sd_Galdinus_4-18.html