Friday, 20 April 2018

Saint Agnes of Montepulciano

Admin 07:30 0 Comments
Image: Saint Agnes miraculously receiving the Blessed Sacrament from an angel

The 20th of April is the feast day of Saint Agnes of Montepulciano (1268 – 1317).

Saint Agnes was born to a noble family in Tuscany. At her birth, strange lights surrounded her dwelling, which people considered that meant this child was to be a favoured one. At only nine years of age, she requested to join the Franciscan monastery in Montepulciano. Though this was against church law, she was granted exemption from the pope. She reached a high degree of contemplative prayer and performed her duties very well. She was then asked to help found and lead a new monastery in Proceno even though she was only 15 years old. She was known as a mystic and visionary, while fostering a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and lived there for 20 years. Her fame spread due to her miracles as well as her austerities. She slept on the floor and ate only bread and drank only water and used a stone for a pillow. She eventually returned to Montepulciano and founded and led a larger monastery. A vision told her that it will be a convent for Dominican nuns dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Among her miracles, includes curing the sick, multiplying food and raising to life a child who had drowned.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Saint Timon

Admin 07:30 0 Comments

The 19th of April is the feast day of Saint Timon the Deacon (1st c.).

Saint Timon lived during the 1st Century and is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles in 6:5 by name. He was part of the 70 disciples who followed Jesus during His ministry. Saint Timon was later one of the first 7 Deacons chosen by the Apostles after Pentecost and Jesus’ ascension into heaven. He baptised many Greeks and Jews according to tradition. He also is said to have the ability to cast out devils and heal the sick. He died by crucifixion after they unsuccessfully tried to throw him into the furnace but he was unharmed by the fire.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Saint Peter of Saint Joseph de Betancur

Admin 07:30 0 Comments
Image: Statue of St. Peter of St. Joseph in the Cave of Santo Hermano Pedro,
Tenerife, Spain

The 18th of April is the feast day of Saint Peter of Saint Joseph Betancur (March 21, 1626 – April 25, 1667). He is also known as Hermano Pedro de San José Betancurt or more simply Hermano Pedro, Santo Hermano Pedro, or San Pedro de Vilaflor. He is the patron saint of Canary Islands, Guatemala, Central America, catechists of Guatemala, Honorary Mayor of municipalities in the south of Tenerife and Honorary Mayor of Antigua Guatemala, and of the homeless.

Saint Peter of Saint Joseph Betancur, was born in the Canary Islands to poverty. He was a shepherd until he was 24 years old when he decided to travel to Guatemala, which was then the capital of New Spain. He had hoped to meet a relative and begin his training as a priest. The trip greatly impoverished him and he entered a bread line served by the Franciscans. He then worked in a textile factory and entered a Jesuit college hoping to become a priest. He was a poor student and had to leave school. He became a lay Third Order Franciscan and dedicated his life serving the poor and oppressed in jails and hospitals as well as the African slaves, Native Americans and anyone else that needed help. He founded a hospital and school for the poor, and a shelter for the homeless. He preached to the rich, telling them to repent. He was known as the “St Francis of the Americas.” He gained a following and there founded the Bethlehemite Brothers and Sisters. Their charism involved a devotion to the Divine Child and the Blessed Virgin and they offered prayers and sacrifices to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Every night, Saint Peter carried a wooden cross through the streets as a form of penance and a way to evangelise. He is thought to have started the Posadas procession in Advent. He died in 1667 and Pope Saint John Paul II canonised him, becoming the first saint from Central America.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Saint Donnán of Eigg

Admin 07:30 0 Comments

The 17th of April is the feast day of Saint Donnán of Eigg (died 17 April 617). He is also known as Donan and is the patron saint of Eigg.

The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:

ST. DONNAN, ABBOT OF EIGG, and ST. DONNAN OF AUCHTERLESS are regarded by both the Bollandists and Dempster as different personages, but there is so much confusion in their chronology and repetition in what is known of them, that it seems more probable that they were identical. Reeves (Adamnan’s Life of St. Columba), moreover, accepts them as the same without discussion. According to Irish annals St. Donnan was a friend and disciple of St. Columba, who followed him from Ireland to Scotland toward the end of the sixth century. Seeking a solitary retreat, he and his companions settled on the island of Eigg, off the west coast of Scotland, then used only to pasture sheep belonging to the queen of the country. Informed of this invasion, the queen ordered that all should forthwith be slain. Her agents, probably a marauding band of Picts, or pirates according to one account, arrived during the celebration of Mass on Easter eve. Being requested to wait until the Sacrifice was concluded, they did so, and then St. Donnan and his fifty-one companions gave themselves up to the sword. This was in 617. Reeves mentions eleven churches dedicated to St. Donnan; in that at Auchterless his pastoral staff was preserved up to the Reformation and is said to have worked miracles. The island of Eigg was still Catholic in 1703 and St. Donnan’s memory venerated there (Martin, Journey to the Western Islands, London, 1716).

Monday, 16 April 2018

Saint Bernadette Soubirous

Admin 07:30 0 Comments

The 16th of April is the feast day of Saint Bernadette Soubirous (7 January 1844 – 16 April 1879). She is the patron saint of bodily illness, Lourdes, France, shepherds and shepherdesses, against poverty, and people ridiculed for their faith.

The eldest of nine children, her parents were very poor and they lived in Lourdes, France. She suffered from severe asthma throughout her life. At the age of 14 years old, while collecting firewood on February 11, 1858, she saw an apparition of Our Lady in the grotto on the banks of Gave River. Our Lady appeared to her 18 times and Bernadette had much opposition and was interrogated by both civil and ecclesiastical authorities because of this. A spring was revealed to Saint Bernadette during one of the visions. Our Lady eventually told Bernadette that She was the “Immaculate Conception” which resulted in the local bishop acknowledging the visions to be authentic. A church was erected at the site of the grotto and the spring, today it is a popular Catholic pilgrimage site. There have been many medically documented cures in both body and soul resulting from the water at Lourdes. Saint Bernadette became a nun and died on April 16, 1879, in the convent at Nevers, France when she was 35 years old. In 1933 she was canonised by Pope Piux XI.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Saint Hunna

Admin 07:30 0 Comments

The 15th of April is the feast day of Saint Hunna (d. 679). She is also known as Una. She is the patron saint of laundresses, laundry workers, and washerwomen.

Saint Hunna was born in Alsace France and was a daughter of a Duke. She married a nobleman though both did not indulge themselves in luxuries. Instead, they opened their home to the poor. Saint Deodatus, the bishop, when he resigned from his See, lived with them and they grew in sanctity from his religious instruction. Hunna had a son, whom he named after Saint Deodatus. Her son joined the monastery and is also a saint. After her husband died, Saint Hunna continued spending her life serving the poor, especially the women in Strasbourg, France. She tended the sick and poor, doing their laundry and mending. She was known as the “Holy Washerwoman.” She gave away her wealth and property in order to build churches and monasteries. Many miracles were attributed to her, and she was canonised by Pope Leo X in 1520.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Saint Lidwina

Admin 07:30 0 Comments
Image: Lidwina’s fall on the ice, Wood drawing from the 1498 edition of John Brugman’s Vita of Lidwina

The 14th of April is the feast day of Saint Lidwina (March 18, 1380 – April 14, 1433). She is also known as Lydwine, Lydwid, Lidwid, Liduina of Schiedam. She is the patron saint of the chronically ill, ice skaters, and the town of Schiedam.

The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:

Born at Schiedam, Holland, 18 April 1380; died 14 April, 1433. Her father, Peter by name, came of a noble family while her mother Petronella, born at Kethel, Holland, was a poor country girl. Both were poor. Very early in her life St. Lidwina was drawn towards the Mother of God and prayed a great deal before the miraculous image of Our Lady of Schiedam. During the winter of the year of 1395, Lidwina went skating with her friends, one of whom caused her to fall upon some ice with such violence that she broke a rib in her right side. This was the beginning of her martyrdom. No medical skill availed to cure her. Gangrene appeared in the wound caused by the fall and spread over her entire body. For years she lay in pain which seemed to increase constantly. Some looked on her with suspicion, as being under the influence of the evil spirit. Her pastor, Andries, brought her an unconsecrated host, but the saint distinguished it at once. But God rewarded her with a wonderful gift of prayer and also with visions. Numerous miracles took place at her bed-side. The celebrated preacher and seer, Wermbold of Roskoop, visited her after previously beholding her in spirit. The pious Arnold of Schoonhoven treated her as a friend. Hendrik Mande wrote for her consolation a pious tract in Dutch. When Joannes Busch brought this to her, he asked her what she thought of Hendrik Mande’s visions, and she answered that they came from God. In a vision she was shown a rose-bush with the words, “When this shall be in bloom, your suffering will be at an end.” In the spring of the year 1433, she exclaimed, “I see the rose-bush in full bloom!” From her fifteenth to her fifty-third year, she suffered every imaginable pain; she was one sore from head to foot and was greatly emaciated. On the morning of Easter-day, 1433, she was in deep contemplation and beheld, in a vision, Christ coming towards her to administer the Sacrament of Extreme Unction. She died in the odour of great sanctity. At once her grave became a place of pilgrimage, and as early as 1434 a chapel was built over it. Joannes Brugmann and Thomas à Kempis related the history of her life, and veneration of her on the part of the people increased unceasingly. In 1615 her relics were conveyed to Brussels, but in 1871 they were returned to Schiedam. On 14 March, 1890, Leo XIII put the official sanction of the Church upon that veneration which had existed for centuries.

COUDURIER, Vie de la bienheureuse Lidwine (Paris, 1862); RIBADENEIRA, La vie de s. Lidwine, vierge (Valenciennes, 1615); THOMAS À KEMPIS, Vita Lidewigis virginis in Opera Omnia, iv (Freiburg, 1905); HUYSMANS, Sainte Lydwine de Schiedam (Paris, 1901).

P. Albers.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Saint Margaret of Castello

Admin 07:30 0 Comments

The 13th of April is the feast day of Blessed Margaret of Castello (1287 – 12 April 1320). She is the patron saint of Pro-life movements, disabled people and blind people.

Her parents were noble Italians who wanted her to be the child of their dreams. However, she was blind, a dwarf, lame and a hunchback. Her parents were horrified at her appearance when she was a newborn and tried to hide her hoping to keep her existence private. A servant took pity on her and had her baptised, naming her Margaret which meant “Pearl.” At the age of six years old she was almost discovered. Her father then put her in a cell inside the wall of a church, providing necessities to her through a window. The parish priest educated Maraget and she lived this way until she was 16 years old. Her parents took her on a pilgrimage to a shrine hoping to have her miraculously healed. They prayed for her to be cured of her deformities. When it became obvious that she would not be cured, they abandoned her on the streets, returning home and she never saw them again. She begged for food and the town’s poor sheltered her in their homes taking turns to do so. She became a Dominican Tertiary and served the sick, dying and the imprisoned. She had mystical experiences and was known for her joy and sanctity. She died when she was 33 years old and hundreds of miracles attributed to her intercession occurred before and after her death, her body is incorrupt.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Saint Teresa of the Andes

Admin 07:30 0 Comments
Portrait of Saint Teresa of the Andes

The 12th of April is the feast day of Saint Teresa of Jesus of Los Andes (13 July 1900 – 12 April 1920). She was born as Juana Fernández Solar. She is the patron saint against disease, against illness, ill people, young people, Santiago and Los Andes.

She was born in Chile, her family were upper class. As a child, she was very pious and was deeply spiritually being devoted to Jesus and Mary. However, she was stubborn and self-centred which she sought to overcome while preparing herself for her First Communion at the age of 10 years old. After reading the autobiography of St Therese of Lisieux, she decided to become a Carmelite nun. Five years later in 1919, when she was 19 years old she entered the Carmelite monastery of Los Andes. She wrote letters where she mentioned her spiritual life. After praying it was revealed to her that she would die at a young age and she accepted this with joy. Only a few months after entering the monastery, she contracted typhoid fever and died in April 1920 during Holy Week. She was permitted to profess her vows before her death. In 1993 Pope St John Paul canonised her, and she was the first Chilean and first Discalced Carmelite nun outside of Europe to be recognised as a saint.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Saint Gemma Galgani

Admin 07:30 0 Comments
Saint Gemma Galgani

The 11th of April is the feast day of Saint Maria Gemma Umberta Galgani (March 12, 1878 – April 11, 1903). She is the patron saint of students, pharmacists, paratroopers and parachutists, loss of parents, those suffering back injury or back pain, those suffering with headaches/migraines, those struggling with temptations to impurity and those seeking purity of heart.

She was born in Italy, the fifth child of eight children to a pharmacist. When she was young, her mother and three of her siblings died. When she was 18 years old, her father died too, and she had to take care of her younger siblings. Rejecting two marriage proposals, she tried to enter the Passionist as a religious. But she was rejected because of her bad health. She instead became a Tertiary member of the Order. She developed spinal meningitis and was miraculously healed, attributing this to the intercession of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows and Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She experienced suffering as she united herself with the Passion of Christ and had many visions, being visited often by her guardian angel, Jesus and His Mother, Mary. She is known as a mystic and developed the stigmata at the age of 21, according to her spiritual director. She died on the Vigil of Easter, aged 25 years old.

Our Lady of Medjugorje

April 02, 2018 Message to Mirjana

Dear children, Through the great love of the Heavenly Father I am beside you as your mother and you are beside me as my children, as apostles of my love whom I ceaselessly gather around me. My children, you are those who, along with prayer, need to completely surrender to my Son so that you may no longer live but my Son may live in you - so that all those who do not know my Son may see Him in you and come to desire to know Him. Pray that in you they may see resolute humility and goodness, a readiness to serve others; that in you they may see that you live your vocation in the world with the heart, in communion with my Son; that in you they may see meekness, tenderness and love for my Son as well as for all brothers and sisters. Apostles of my love, you must pray much and cleanse your hearts so that you may be the first to walk on the way of my Son, that you may be the just who are united with the justice of my Son. My children, as apostles of my love, you must be united in the communion which emanates from my Son, so that my children who do not know my Son may recognize the communion of love and may come to desire to walk on the way of life, the way of unity with my Son. Thank you.

Links