The Liturgical Year - Advent Volume
By: Dom Gueranger +Imprimatur 1927
Bishop of Myra, and Confessor
Nicholas was born of a noble family at Patara, in the province of Lycia. His birth was the fruit of his parents' prayers. Evidences of his great future holiness were given from is very cradle. For when he was an infant, he would take his food only once on Wednesdays and Fridays, and then not till evening; whilst on a all other day he frequently took the breast: he kept up this custom of fasting during the rest of hi life. Having lost his parents when he was a boy, he gave all his goods to the poor. Of is Christian kindheartedness there is the following noble example. One of his fellow-citizens had three daughters; but being too poor to obtain them an honorable marriage, he was minded to abandon them to a life of prostitution. Nicholas having come to know the case, went to the house during the night, and threw in by the window a sum of money sufficient for the dower of one of the daughters; he did the same a second and a third time; and thus the three were married to respectable men.
Having given himself wholly to the service of God, he set out for Palestine, that he might visit and venerate the holy places. During this pilgrimage, which he made by sea, he foretold to the mariners on embarking,though the heavens were then serene and the sea tranquil, that they would be overtaken by a frightful storm. In a very short time the storm arose. All were in the most imminent danger, when he quelled it by his prayers. His pilgrimage ended, he returned home, giving to all men example of the greatest sanctity. He went, by an inspiration from God, to Myra, the metropolis of Lycia, which had just lost its bishop by death, and the bishops of the province had come together for the purpose of electing a successor. Whilst they were holding council for the election, they were told by a revelation from heaven, that they should choose him who, on the morrow, should be the first to enter the church, his name being Nicholas. Accordingly, the requisite observations were made, when they found Nicholas to be waiting at the church door: they took him, and, to the incredible delight of all, made him the bishop of Myra. During his episcopate, he never flagged in the virtues looked for in a bishop; chastity, which indeed he had always preserved, gravity, assiduity in prayer, watchings, abstinence, meekness in exhortation, severity in reproving.
He befriended widows and orphans by money, by advice, and by every service in his power. So zealous a defender was he of all who suffered oppression, that, on one occasion, three tribunes having been condemned by the emperor Constantine, who had been deceived by calumny, and having heard of the miracles wrought by Nicholas, they recommended themselves to his prayers, though he was living at a very great distance from that place; the saint appeared to Constantine, and looking angrily upon him, obtained from the terrified emperor their deliverance. Having, contrary to the edict of Diocletian and Maximian, preached in Myra the truth of the Christian faith, he was taken up by the servants of the two emperors. He was taken off to a great distance and thrown into prison, where he remained until Constantine, having become emperor, ordered his release, and the saint returned to Mrya. Shortly afterwards, he repaired to the Council which was being held at Nicaea; there he took part with the three hundred and eighteen fathers in condemning the Arian heresy. Scarcely had he returned to his see, than he was taken with the sickness of which he soon died. Looking up to heaven, and seeing angels coming to meet him, he began the psalm, 'In thee, O Lord, have I hoped;' and having come to those words, 'Into thy hands I commend my spirit,' his soul took its flight to the heavenly country. His body, having been translated to Bari in Apulia, is the object of universal veneration. Visit Myra and check out the area that St. Nicholas was from along with a few authentic artwork pieces!
This weeks Friday Fare …. Food for the Soul
Pictorial Lives of the Saints + Imprimatur John, Cardinal McCloskey
ST. NICHOLAS, the patron Saint of Russia, was born toward the end of the third century. His uncle, the Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, ordained him priest, and appointed him abbot of a monastery; and on the death of the archbishop he was elected to the vacant see. Throughout his life he retained the bright and guileless manners of his early years, and showed himself the special protector of the innocent and the wronged. Nicholas once heard that a person who had fallen into poverty intended to abandon his three daughters to a life of sin. Determined, if possible, to save their innocence, the Saint went out by night, and, taking with him a bag of gold, flung it into the window of the sleeping father and hurried off. He, on awaking, deemed the gift a godsend, and with it dowered his eldest child. The Saint, overjoyed at his success, made like venture for the second daughter; but the third time as he stole away, the father, who was watching, overtook him and kissed his feet, saying: "Nicholas, why dost thou conceal thyself from me? Thou art my helper, and he who has delivered my soul and my daughters' from hell." St. Nicholas is usually represented by the side of a vessel, wherein a certain man had concealed the bodies of his three children whom he had killed, but who were restored to life by the Saint. He died in 342. His relics were translated in 1807, to Bari, Italy, and there, after fifteen centuries, "the manna of St. Nicholas" still flows from his bones and heals all kinds of sick. Reflection
.—Those who would enter heaven must be as little children, whose greatest glory is their innocence. Now, two things are ours to do: first, to preserve it in ourselves, or regain it by penance; secondly, to love and shield it in others.
Activities, Resources & Giveaway!
Some fun things to do! Listen to! Eat!
St. Nicholas is known for his charity, second only to St. Vincent De Paul. He is also the patron of Children, of Russia, of Widows and Orphans. A miracle worker as well and a great example for all of us. In Honor of this most great Saint, whom God bestowed so many gifts on we would like to do another give away, featuring some books for children, whom he loved so much, as well as a couple of Christmas items, for Him whom he loved more than children, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is to come to us in just 23 short days!!
To view the prizes listed below please click on the following links: Catholic Christmas Cards (red or blue set choice) Anecdotes and Sermonette's for Children's Mass First Communion Days Christmas Stationary
Pictorial Lives of the Saints + Imprimatur John, Cardinal McCloskey
Saturninus went from Rome, by direction of Pope Fabian, about the year 245, to preach the faith in Gaul. He fixed his episcopal see at Toulouse, and thus became the first Christian bishop of that city. There were but few Christians in the place. However, their number grew fast after the coming of the Saint; and his power was felt by the spirits of evil, who received the worship of the heathen. His power was felt the more because he had to pass daily through the capitol, the high place of the heathen worship, on the way to his own church. One day a great multitude was gathered by an alter, where a bull stood ready for the sacrifice. A man in the crowd pointed out Saturninus, who was passing by, and the people would have forced him to idolatry; but the holy bishop answered: "I know but on God, and to Him I will offer the sacrifice of praise. How can I fear gods who, as you say, are afraid of me?" On this he was fastened to the bull, which was driven down the capitol. The brains of the Saint were scattered on the steps. His mangled body was taken up and buried by two devout women.Reflection
.—When beset by the temptations of the devil, let us call upon the Saints, who reign with Christ. They were powerful during their lives against the devil and his angels. They are more powerful now that they have passed from the Church on earth to the Church triumphant.
This Weeks Friday Fare …. Food for the Soul
Anecdotes and Examples By: Rev. Francis Spirago +Imprimatur 1908
Q. Does the first commandment forbid the honoring of the saints?A. The first commandment does not forbid the honoring of the saints, but rather approves of it; because by honoring the saints, who are the chosen friends of God, we honor God himself.
ST. WENCELSAUS IN THE SNOW
Imitation is the sincerest flattery, and the best way to horn the saints and through them to honor God is to follow their example. On one very severe and snoy night St. Wenceslaus was on his way to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament in the neighboring church. His servant who accompanied him complained that his feet, though well shod, were nub with cold, while the saint, who wore but sandals, seemed not to suffer at all. "Put your feet prints into mine, and fear not," said the saint/ This the servant did, and presently a genial warmth spread from his feed throughout his whole body. This is a lively image of what takes place in the soul of the Christian who tries to walk i nthe footsteps of the saints by imitating their virtue.Q. Does the first commandment forbid us to pray to the saints?A. The first commandment does not forbid us to pray to the saints.
A FATHER IS TOLD TO TEACH HIS UNRULY SON TO PRAY
Prayer is the surest means of obtaining the grace of amendment. A man once went to a priest and asked him to advise him what to do with his son to make him behave better. He said he had flogged him several times, made him go hungry, and shut him up in the cold, but nothing had any effect on him. Then the priest asked whether the man had made his son pray, and had himself prayed for and with him. He acknowledged that he had not done so, but promised to have recourse to that means. He kept his word, and this means proved effectual' the boy corrected his ways and grew up to be worthy, God-fearing man.Q. What do we mean by praying to this saints?A. By praying to the saints we mean the asking of their help and prayers.
A MIRACULOUS DELIVERANCE
The year 1618 was marked by the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War. It is also memorable on account of the sentence passed on the imperial viceroys in Prague, Martinitz and Slawata, as well as their private secretary, Fabricius, who were condemned by the Protestants to be thrown out of the window of the royal palace. This is how it came to pass. On stringent decrees against the Protestants being issued by the Emperor Nathias, a large body of those heretics, headed by Count Thurn, entered forcibly into the royal place in Prague and charged the viceroy and governor with having instigated their august master to take those drastic measures. They announced their intention of putting the supposed authors of the decrees to immediate death. The two governors begged that at least a short time might be granted them to prepare for death, and that a confessor might be sent for. This privilege was however denied them; the crowd below insisted that according to an ancient Bohemian custom in regard to traitors, they should be thrown out the window. This was accordingly done. In spite of their expostulations and entreaties they were seized, conveyed to a window overlooking the deep but then dry moat of the castle, and flung down from a great height. Martinitz continually uttered the names of JEsus and Mary, invoking their mercy and their aid. The Protestants, hearing this, cried contemptuously: "Let us see whether Mary will come to help him." Martinitz fell, and rose to his feet without having sustained the slightest injury, so that the bystanders were forced to acknowledge that Our Lady had indeed come to his aid. Slawata struck his head gainst a stone window-sill, and lay on the ground insensible, blood flowing from his mouth. Martinitz lifted him in his arms and carried him away; and although a number of shots were fired at the fugitives, all missed their aim. Friends came to the help of the wounded man, so that they were both able t effect their escape. The Catholics who witnessed this scene doubted not that these men were rescued by a miraculous intervention of Providence, but the heretics said it was the effect of magic. The statement that the men fell upon heaps of dust, or that bushes broke their fall, is fictitious. We learn from this incident that we cannot do better than call upon JEsus and Mary in the hour of peril and sore distress.
The Liturgical Year
By: Dom Gueranger
+ Imprimatur 1867
Virgin and Martyr
Cecilia, a Roman virgin of noble origin, was brought up from her infancy in the Christian faith, and vowed her virginity to God. Against her will, she was given in marriage to Valerian; but on the first night of the nuptials she thus addressed him: Valerian, I am under the care of an angel, who is the guardian of my virginity; wherefore beware of doing what might kindle God's wrath against thee. Valerian moved by these words respected her wishes, and even said that he would beleive in Christ if he could see the angel. On Cecilia telling him that this could not be unless he received baptism, he, being very desirous of seeing the angel, replied that he was willing to be baptized. Taking the virgin's advice, he went to Pope Urban, who on account of the persecution was hiding among the tombs of the martyrs on the Appian Way, and by him he was baptized.
Then returning to Cecilia, he found her at prayer, and beside her an angel shining with divine brightness. He was amazed at the sight; but as soon as he had recovered from his fear, he sought out his brother Tiburtius; who also was instructed by Cecilia in the faith of Christ, and after being baptized by Pope Urban was favoured like his brother with the sight of the angel. Both of them shortly afterwards courageously suffered martyrdom under the prefect Almachius. This latter next commanded Cecilia to be apprehended, and commenced by asking her what had become of the property of Tiburtius and Valerian.
The virgin answered that it had all been distributed among the poor; at which the prefect was so enraged, that he commanded her to be led back to her own house, and put to death by the heat of the bath. When, after spending a day and a night there, she remained unhurt by the fire, an executioner was sent to despatch her; who, not being able with three strokes of the axe to cut off her head, left her half dead. Three days later, on the tenth of the Kalends of December, she took her flight to heaven, adorned with the double glory of virginity and martyrdom. It was in the reign of the emperor Alexander. Pope Urban buried her body in the cemetary of Callixtus; and her house was converted into a church and dedicated in her name. Pope Paschal I translated her body into the city together with those of Popes Urban and Lucius, and of Tiburtius, Valerian, and Maximus, and placed them all in this church of St. Cecilia. VIEW A MAP OF WHERE ST. CECILIA IS BURIED AND MORE PICTURES OVER AT ALL THE SAINTS AND PETER AND PAUL and download a coloring page of St. Cecilia at Crusaders-for-Christ!
This Weeks Friday Fare …. Food for the Soul & the body
Anecdotes and Examples By: Rev. Francis Spirago +Imprimatur 19086th. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.
FAIR MEATS ON FOUL DISHES
We must pray with a pure heart. A young man who had adopted a licentious manner of life did not, in spite of his vicious habits, omit to say a prayer every day to the Mother of God. One night he had a dream which made a great impression upon him. He dreamed that he was on a journey, and was extremely hungry. Our Blessed Lady then appeared to him, surrounded by angels, and offered him some tempting viands on a very dirty dish, saying: "Take this food and eat it." But he answered that he could not partake of the food because the dish on which it was served was not clean. "Thus it is with thy prayers," the Blessed Virgin rejoined. "They are good in themselves, but thy heart is impure. For this reason thy petitions are not acceptable in God's sight." At that moment the young man awoke. He never forgot that dream; it had the effect of inducing him for the rest of his life to live as becomes a Christian.
THE SNOW-WHITE DOVES
When a certain pious girl named Georgia was dying, a great multitude of white doves were seen hovering about her. When after her death her body was removed to the church, the doves perched on that part of the roof immediately above the corpse, and there they remained during the services. Great throngs came to see this wonderful thing, and all were persuaded that God had sent His angels under the appearance of white doves to honor her whom they had all esteemed and reverenced on account of her angelic purity.
THE VESTAL VIRGINS
In heathen Rome six virgins were appointed to keep alive the so-called sacred fire burning on the altar in the temple of Vesta. These virgins usually came to the temple when about ten years of age; they remained there for thirty years, during which time they were forbidden to marry. The Romans held the belief that these virgins brought good fortune to the sate, by obtaining for it the protection of the gods. The Vestal Virgins were treated with the greatest respect. Military honors were paid to them in public; and if a criminal, on his way to execution, chanced to meet one of them, he was set at liberty. The best places were given them at the theaters, and other entertainments at which they might be present. They were clad in white robes, adorned with purple trimming. If one of these virgins broke her vow of chastity, she was condemned to be buried alive. Hence we see in what high esteem the pagans held those who leda a chaste life.
JOSEPH THE PATRIARCH AND KING DAVID
In the histories of the Patriarch Joseph and of King David we have examples of a great victory and a great fall under the ninth commandment, - examples that teach us what we must do in like circumstances and what we must avoid. Joseph, industrious and prayerful, fled in terror from the solicitations of his master's wife; David, idle and for the moment forgetful of God, sees the wife of Urias, and immediately plunges into sin. Joseph's life was crowned with success and glory; David's was blackened with murder, and ruin overtook him and his kingdom.
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"To serve God is to reign." - St. Antoninus
PICTORIAL LIVES OF THE SAINTS WITH REFLECTIONS FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR
May 10.—ST. ANTONINUS, Bishop.
ANTONINUS, or Little Antony, as he was called from his small stature, was born at Florence in 1389. After a childhood of singular holiness, he begged to be admitted into the Dominican house at Fiesole; but the Superior, to test his sincerity and perseverance, told him he must first learn by heart the book of the Decretals, containing several hundred pages. This apparently impossible task was accomplished within twelve months; and Antoninus received the coveted habit in his sixteenth year. While still very young, he filled several important posts of his Order, and was consulted on questions of difficulty by the most learned men of his day; being known, for his wonderful prudence, as "the Counsellor." He wrote several works on theology and history, and sat as Papal Theologian at the Council of Florence. In 1446 he was compelled to accept the archbishopric of that city; and in this dignity earned for himself the title of "the Father of the Poor," for all he had was at their disposal. St. Antoninus never refused an alms which was asked in the name of God. When he had no money, he gave his clothes, shoes, or furniture. One day, being sent by the Florentines to the Pope, as he approached Rome a beggar came up to him almost naked, and asked him for an alms for Christ's sake. Outdoing St. Martin, Antoninus gave him his whole cloak. When he entered the city, another was given him; by whom he knew not. His household consisted of only six persons; his palace contained no plate or costly furniture, and was often nearly destitute of the necessaries of life. His one mule was frequently sold for the relief of the poor, when it would be bought back for him by some wealthy citizen. He died embracing the crucifix, May 2d, 1459, often repeating the words, "To serve God is to reign."Reflection
.—"Alms-deeds," says St. Augustine, "comprise every kind of service rendered to our neighbor who needs such assistance. He who supports a lame man bestows an alms on him with his feet; he who guides a blind man does him a charity with his eyes; he who carries an invalid or an old man upon his shoulders imparts to him an alms of his strength. Hence none are so poor but they may bestow an alms on the wealthiest man in the world."READ MORE ABOUT ST. ANTONINUS AND VIEW A MAP SHOWING WHERE HIS RELICS ARE OVER AT ALL THE SAINTS AND PETER AND PAUL
This Weeks Friday Fare ...... Food for the Soul Our Lady of La Salette
ANECDOTES AND EXAMPLES FOR THE CATECHISM
By: Rev. Francis Spirago +Imprimatur 1908
Q. Which are the chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin?A. The chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin are:-Prayer.
"HOLY FATHER, PUT IN YOUR HAND."
We ought to pray that not our will but God's will be done. One of the popes ordered a plan for a new church to be designed by an architect. When it was ready, the architect sent it by his little boy for the Holy Father's inspection. The Pop approved highly of the design, and to show his satisfaction at seeing his wishes so well carried out, he called the boy into his room, and opening a drawer which was filled with ducats, said: "Put in your hand, my boy, and take as many as you can hold." The child looked up at the Pope and said: "Holy Father, put your hand in; it is much larger than mine." Let us learn from this child how we ought to act toward almighty God. We ought not to pray that our will may be done, but rather to exclaim: "Thy will be done, O Lord." For God knows far better than we do what is good for us, and He will do more for us than we can ask or think.Fasting.
On September 19th, 1846, on Mt. La Salette, in the south of France, Our Lady appeared to two young shepherds, Melany and Maximin. Her eyes were full of tears, and she complained that her Son's arm was getting so heavy she could hardly prevent it falling and crushing the world for its sins. She named three sins especially: blasphemy, profanation of Sunday, and disregard for laws of fasting and abstinence.Almsgiving.
COMMAND THAT THESE TONES BE MADE BERAD
The superfluous ornaments of the rich would relieve much distress. Louis, duke of Burgundy, a grandson of the French king, Louis XIV, who was educated by the celebrated Bishop Fenelon, displayed from his earliest years great kindness of heart. At a time when provisions were very scarce in Paris, he was one day coming from Versailles when he was followed and beset by a hungry crowd, begging for alms. He gave away all the money he had with him, but still the people came flocking up in ever increasing numbers clamoring for bread. Then he detached from his breast the decorations, set with precious stones, which he wore; and handing them to his attendant, said: "Sell these, and command that they be made bread."
A BEGGER SHARES WITH OTHERS THE BREAD GIVEN HIM
In a manufacturing town both parents of a certain family worked in a factory; they were out the whole day and only returned home in the evening. Thus the children were left alone in the house all day. One morning there was a knock at the door. One of the children ran to open it, and saw a beggar who asked for an alms. The child replied: "I have nothing to give you; we are poor ourselves and often have nothing to eat." The mendicant went away on hearing this. In the afternoon of the same day there was again a knock on the door. The same child went to open it, and saw before him the self-same beggar. He repeated what he had said in the morning, but the beggar said: "I have not come to ask anything of you; on the contrary, I have brought you something/" He then took from his pocket several slices of bread and butter wrapped in paper, together with a few coppers, saying: "Give those to your mother. I have begged them for you." The poor are often more liberal in giving than the rich.
THE EMPEROR LUDWIG II AND THE VILLAGE PASTOR
Almsgiving earns an eternal reward. One day, in the year 855, when the German Emperor Ludwig was out hunting, he lost his way. Toward evening he heard a bell, the Angelus, ring out from the steeple of the village church. He bent his steps in the direction whence the sound came, and reached a village of the name of Katzenhausen. He went to the presbytery and begged the worthy priest, Pastor Wulfhelm, to give him a night's lodging. The priest made the unknown but distinguished guest, welcome; he entertained him hospitably, and had a bedchamber prepared for him. The next morning the stranger heard Mass, expressed his thanks to his host, and asked what he was indebted to him. Wulfhelm answered: "You are a sportsman; some time or other send me a piece of leather for a girdle." The stranger promised to do so, and took his leave. Weeks and months went by, and the village priest thought no more of his high-born guest. One day a messenger on horseback stopped at the gate of the humble presbytery, and handed in a large envelope bearing the imperial seal. This letter contained the announcement of Wulfhelm's appointment to the bishopric of Munster. God deals with us in much the same manner as this emperor did. When we have long ago forgotten acts of kindness which we performed toward the needy, He rewards them with eternal felicity.
"Indeed, God gives to the Catholic for every joy he renounces a thousandfold more; for every darkness a hundred dawns; for every human relationship that is sacrificed for Christ's sake, a heavenly, instead; for "lands and houses' the whole earth which is His footstool; for every cross a crown."
-Mgr. Robert Hugh Benson
SS. Cletus and Marcellinus
Another week gone by and here we are at another Feria Friday where we share a weekly saint's story and other food for the soul! To find 300+ meatless recipes, for meatless Friday, please visit our Feria Friday archives.Pictorial lives of the Saints + Imprimatur 1887
April 26.—STS. CLETUS and MARCELLINUS, Popes, Martyrs.
ST. CLETUS was the third Bishop of Rome, and succeeded St. Linus
, which circumstance alone shows his eminent virtue among the first disciples of St. Peter in the West. He sat twelve years, from 76 to 89. The canon of the Roman Mass, Bede, and other martyrologists, style him a martyr. He was buried near St. Linus
, in the Vatican, and his relics still remain in that church.
St. Marcellinus succeeded St. Coins in the bishopric of Rome in 296, about the time that Diocletian set himself up for a deity, and impiously claimed divine honors. In those stormy times of persecution Marcellinus acquired great glory. He sat in St. Peter's chair eight years, three months, and twenty-five days, dying in 304, a year after the cruel persecution broke out, in which he gained much honor. He has been styled a martyr, though his blood was not shed in the cause of religion.Reflection
.—It is a fundamental maxim of the Christian morality, and a truth which Christ has established in the clearest terms and in innumerable passages of the Gospel, that the cross or sufferings and mortification are the road to eternal bliss. They, therefore, who lead not here a crucified and mortified life are unworthy ever to possess the unspeakable joys of His kingdom. Our Lord Himself, our Model and our Head, walked in this path, and His great Apostle puts us in mind that He entered into bliss only by His blood and by the cross.
This Weeks Friday Fare ...... Food for the Soul
Anecdotes and Examples Illustrating the Catholic Catechism
By: Rev. Francis Spirago +Imprimatur 1908Q. Did God give any command to Adam and Eve?A. To try their obedience, God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of a certain fruit which grew in the garden of Paradise.
THE BUNCH OF GRAPES
It is related of St. Macarius, one of the Fathers of the desert, that, having received as a present a beautiful bunch of grapes, though he longed to taste them, he, to exercise himself in self-denial and obedience to his rule, resolved not to do so, but sent them with his compliments to a neighboring hermit. He, inspired with the same holy motives, sent them to a third; the third to a fourth, and so on until finally the grapes, having passed through most of the cells in the desert, came back to St. Macarius practically untouched. The latter, on receiving them and on learning after inquiry through whose hands they passed, gave thanks to God that in the world should be found so many faithful sons of Adam and Eve to make reparation for their parents' transgression.Q. Why did Christ suffer and die?A. Christ suffered and died for our sins.THE BURIED SEED
A little city girl was one springtime visiting her country cousins, and seeing the laborers in the field planting the seed, she cried out: "Oh, what a foolish thing! to bury the beautiful seed in the earth to rot and die!" The farmer smiled and said: "Yes; but if we don't bury it, we shall have no fine fields of corn this summer, nor abundant harvest in the fall." This law of nature is also the law of grace. Whoever humbleth himself shall be exalted. So, too, Christ's voluntary degradation was the cause of our exaltation. He Himself expressed this truth when He said: "Unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, itself remaineth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."Q. What did Jesus Christ Suffer?A. Jesus Christ suffered a bloody sweat, a cruel scourging, was crowned with thorns, and was crucified.
THE SICK CHILD AND THE BITTER MEDICINE
The contemplation of Christ's sufferings should enable us to bear our own trials more patiently. A child who was very ill had to take a peculiarly nauseous medicine. He took it once, but refused to take it a second time. Then his mother brought a picture of Our Lord in the Garden of Olives and the angel offering the chalice to Him. "Look," she said to the sick child, "Our Saviour drank the chalice of suffering not for His own sake, but for yours, and you will not drink your physic for your own sake. At least take it for the love of Christ." "Very well, then, for the love of Our Lord Jesus," the child rejoined, and swallowed the bitter potion without a murmur. We, too, should find it easier to bear our sufferings if we fixed our eyes on our suffering Lord.
Pictorial Lives of the Saints with Reflections for Everyday of the YearCompiled from Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints
+ Imprimatur 1887
April 19.—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.Reflection
.—Those who are in high positions should consider themselves as stewards rather than masters of the wealth or power intrusted to them for the benefit of the poor and weak. St. Elphege died rather than extort his ransom from the poor tenants of the Church lands.
This weeks Friday Fare ..... Food for the Soul
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Anecdotes and Examples Illustrating the Catholic CatechismBy: Rev. Francis Spirago
+Imprimatur 1908Q. Are we bound to honor and obey others than our parents?A. We are also bound to honor and obey our bishops, pastors, magistrates, teachers, and other lawful superiors.
Conscientious rulers of the Church and of the State have a life of care and solicitude, A party of distinguished persons went for a cruise at sea. Among them was a young man who had never been on the sea before. He observed attentively all that went on around him, and was a amazed at the quickness and industry of the sailors. There was only one of the crew with whom he found fault; that was the helmsman. "The man," he remarked, "who stands in the hind part of the vessel does no work at all; he only moves his hands occasionally." All who were present laughed at this remark. An old gentleman, however, made answer: "The man at the helm has the most severe and responsible task; he must be constantly on the lookout, and must observe the compass, and never, whatever the weather may be, quit his post. The slightest mistake on his part might cost us all our lives. Our safety depends on his watchfulness and attention." Soon after, a large vessel hove in sight bearing down upon the yacht, and a collision appeared inevitable. Yet the helmsman did not lose his presence of mind, but turned the rudder so promptly and so wisely that the danger that seemed imminent was averted. "See," the old gentleman presently went on, "our rulers are just like the helmsman. The head of the government holds the helm of the State; it may be thought that he has an easy life, free from care, but this is by no means the case. The guidance of public affairs costs him much solicitude and anxiety, for he is aware that a single error on his part might cause misfortune to millions." - This truth applies to the supreme pontiff as well as to secular rulers.
THE EMPEROR FANCIS I OF AUSTRIA
The monarch is the father of his people. In the year 1832 Europe was ravaged by the cholera. When this epidemic broke out in Vienna the emperor, Francis I, was advised by his most faithful counselors to leave Vienna and betake himself to Salzburg, until the plague was at an end. "Will there be enough room in Salzburg for all my children?" the emperor inquired of his anxious advisers. "Certainly, your Majesty," one of them replied; "there is plenty of accommodations there for all the members of your imperial family." "Is there really room for all
my children? "the monarch again inquired, adding as he waved his hand toward the windows of the palace, "Look at all the multitudes out there; they, and thousands more, are my children. Ought their father to forsake them at the very time that they are in danger? No' my beloved Viennese have hitherto shared my joys and shared my sorrows, therefore I will not abandon them in the season of affliction."
St. Julius I, Pope
Pictorial Lives of the Saints with Reflections for Every Day in the Year
Compiled from "Butler's Lives of the Saints"
+ Imprimatur 1887
April 12.—ST. JULIUS, Pope.
ST. JULIUS was a Roman, and chosen Pope on the 6th of February in 337. The Arian bishops in the East sent to him three deputies to accuse St. Athanasius, the zealous Patriarch of Alexandria. These accusations, as the order of justice required, Julius imparted to Athanasius, who thereupon sent his deputies to Rome; when, upon an impartial hearing, the advocates of the heretics were confounded and silenced upon every article of their accusation. The Arians then demanded a council, and the Pope assembled one in Rome in 341. The Arians instead of appearing held a pretended council at Antioch in 341, in which they presumed to appoint one Gregory, an impious Arian, Bishop of Alexandria, detained the Pope's legates beyond the time mentioned for their appearance; and then wrote to his Holiness, alleging a pretended impossibility of their appearing, on account of the Persian war and other impediments. The Pope easily saw through these pretences, and in a council at Rome examined the cause of St. Athanasius, declared him innocent of the things laid to his charge by the Arians, and confirmed him in his see. He also acquitted Marcellus of Ancyra, upon his orthodox profession of faith. He drew up and sent by Count Gabian to the Oriental Eusebian bishops, who had first demanded a council and then refused to appear in it, an excellent letter, which is looked upon as one of the finest monuments of ecclesiastical antiquity. Finding the Eusebians still obstinate, he moved Constans, Emperor of the West, to demand the concurrence of his brother Constantius in the assembling of a general council at Sardica in Illyricum. This was opened in May 347, and declared St. Athanasius and Marcellus of Ancyra orthodox and innocent, deposed certain Arian bishops, and framed twenty-one canons of discipline. St. Julius reigned fifteen years, two months, and six days, dying on the 12th of April, 352.
This Weeks Friday Fare.... Spiritual Food for the Soul
We will be replacing our weekly meatless recipes with some spiritual food for the soul by sharing some wonderful points on the Catholic Catechism and stories to go with them. Previous meatless recipes may be found in our Feria Friday archives
.Anecdotes and Examples Illustrating the Catholic Catechism
By: Rev. Francis Spirago
Imprimatur 1908 by: John M. Farley, D.D. Archbishop of New York
ON THE ATTRIBUTES AND MARKS OF THE CHURCHQ. Which are the attributes of the Church?A. The attributes of the Church are three: authority, infallibility, and indefectibility
A CONGRESS OF DIVINES
A Catholic priest and a Protestant minister were one day walking together when they happened to meet a Jewish rabbi. "Here we are," cried the minister laughing, "three men of different creeds. Now I wonder which of us is he who has been really authorized to announce the truths of religion with certainty for all time." "I will tell you," said the rabbi. "If the Messias has not yet come, I am the man. If Jesus Christ was really the Messias, then our reverend Father here is the only true priest among us. But whether the Messias be really come or not, you, Mr. Minister, are certainly in the wrong."Q. What do you mean by the authority of the Church?A. By the authority of the Church I mean the right and power which the Pope and the bishops, as the successors of the apostles, have to teach and to govern the faithful.
INDIVIDUAL EXPOSITION OF SCRIPTURE
The true Church cannot permit private interpretation of Holy Scripture. The principle that everyone is free to put his own interpretation on the words of Holy Write, is utterly false; otherwise two or three conflicting opinions would each and all be correct, which is a moral impossibility. Truth is one; no one can prove that two and two do not make four. So it is with the truths of our faith. The following instances show the result of putting the Bible into the hands of the people, and allowing them to expound it at will. 1. A man stole his neighbor's cloak. When charged with the theft, he defended himself by saying he had only carried out the scriptural admonition: "Bear ye one another's burdens." 2. Again, the doctrine of private interpretation is responsible for the almost endless multiplicity of the so-called Christian sects, for their bitter opposition to one another, and their apparently hopeless disunion. This principle may justly be charged with all the graver heresies ever put forth and the absurd vagaries of the Scientists, Adventists, Zionists, ect. Q. What do you mean by infallibility of the Church?A. By the infallibility of the Church I mean that the Church cannot err when it teaches a doctrine of faith or morals.
BETTER TO BE SURE THAN SORRY
Henry IV, king of France, having fallen away from the true faith, was led to abjure his errors in the following manner: Having called before him a conference of Catholic priests and Protestant ministers, he demanded of the latter if salvation were possible in the Catholic Church. "Certainly, sire," they replied, "provided a Catholic lives well." "And you," said the king, turning to the priests, "do you admit that the only requisite for salvation for a Protestant is that he live well?" "Certainly not," they answered. "If God gives him the light to know the true Church, he is bound to submit himself to her infallible teaching authority, and discipline. Otherwise he will surely be lost." "Then," said the king, "prudence demands that I become a Catholic once more. By such a step I lose nothing, and gain much. If hereafter it shall appear that the Catholic is not the true infallible Church of Christ, I shall be no worse off than had I remained a Protestant. But if she is the true Church, I shall have gained everything, - my soul's salvation."Pictorial Lives of the Saints
and Anecdotes and Examples
has now been reprinted and is available for purchase over at All the Saints Books
Welcome to another Feria Friday!
Every week we share a story of one of God's heavenly friends and some Friday Fare in honor of our Lord's death upon that Holy cross. We are in transition at the moment and will not have any recipes for you this week. We hope to do a little 'remodel' on this weekly post once a few other projects have been completed. Please enjoy the wonderful Thaumaturgus (miracle worker) story today and make sure to hop on over to my husbands blog where there is a new series of saints stories called Thaumaturgus Thursday
, the first being about the amazing St. Francis of Paula
! May you all have a blessed weekend.Lives of the Saints
, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. 1894
April 5.—ST. VINCENT FERRER.
CH's wonderful apostle, the "Angel of the Judgment," was born at Valencia in Spain, in 1350, and at the age of eighteen professed in the Order of St. Dominic. After a brilliant course of study he became master of sacred theology. For three years he read only the Scriptures, and knew the whole Bible by heart. He converted the Jews of Valencia, and their synagogue became a church. Grief at the great schism then afflicting the Church reduced him to the point of death; but Our Lord Himself in glory bade him go forth to convert sinners, "for My judgment is nigh." This miraculous apostolate lasted twenty-one years. He preached throughout Europe, in the towns and villages of Spain, Switzerland, France, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland. Everywhere tens of thousands of sinners were reformed; Jews, infidels, and heretics were converted. Stupendous miracles enforced his words. Twice each day the " miracle bell " summoned the sick, the blind, the lame to be cured. Sinners the most obdurate became Saints; speaking only his native Spanish, he was understood in all tongues. Processions of ten thousand penitents followed him in perfect order. Convents, orphanages, hospitals, arose in his path. Amidst all, his humility remained profound, his prayer constant. He always prepared for preaching by prayer. Once, however, when a person of high rank was to be present at his sermon he neglected prayer for study. The nobleman was not particularly struck by the discourse which had been thus carefully worked up; but coming again to hear the Saint, unknown to the latter, the second sermon made a deep impression on his soul. When St. Vincent heard of the difference, he remarked that in the first sermon it was Vincent who had preached, but in the second, Jesus Christ. He fell ill at Vannes in Brittany, and received the crown of everlasting glory in 1419.Reflection
.—"Whatever you do," said St. Vincent, "think not of yourself, but of God." In this spirit he preached, and God spoke by him; in this spirit, if we listen, we shall hear the voice of God.
This Weeks Friday Fare
"Courage! Let us be generous in our sacrifices." - Blessed Theophane Venard -
Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. 1894
March 8.—ST. JOHN OF GOD.
NOTHING in John's early life foreshadowed his future sanctity. He ran away as a boy from his home in Portugal, tended sheep and cattle in Spain, and served as a soldier against the French, and afterwards against the Turks. When about forty years of age, feeling remorse for his wild life, he resolved to devote himself to the ransom of the Christian slaves in Africa, and went thither with the family of an exiled noble, which he maintained by his labor. On his return to Spain he sought to do good by selling holy pictures and books at low prices. At length the hour of grace struck. At Granada a sermon by the celebrated John of Avila shook his soul to its depths, and his expressions of self-abhorrence were so extraordinary that he was taken to the asylum as one mad. There he employed himself in ministering to the sick. On leaving he began to collect homeless poor, and to support them by his work and by begging. One night St. John found in the streets a poor man who seemed near death, and, as was his wont, he carried him to the hospital, laid him on a bed, and went to fetch water to wash his feet. When he had washed them, he knelt to kiss them, and started with awe: the feet were pierced, and the print of the nails bright with an unearthly radiance. He raised his eyes to look, and heard the words, "John, to Me thou doest all that thou doest to the poor in My name: I reach forth My hand for the alms thou givest; Me dost thou clothe, Mine are the feet thou dost wash." And then the gracious vision disappeared, leaving St. John filled at once with confusion and consolation. The bishop became the Saint's patron, and gave him the name of John of God. When his hospital was on fire, John was seen rushing about uninjured amidst the flames until he had rescued all his poor. After ten years spent in the service of the suffering, the Saint's life was fitly closed. He plunged into the river Xenil to save a drowning boy, and died, 1550, of an illness brought on by the attempt, at the age of fifty-five.
Reflection.—God often rewards men for works that are pleasing in His sight by giving them grace and opportunity to do other works higher still. St. John of God used to attribute his conversion, and the graces which enabled him to do such great works, to his self-denying charity in Africa.
This Weeks Friday Fare
"Internal peace resides, not in the senses but in the will. One keeps it in the midst of the bitterest sorrow so long as one's will remains firm and submissive." - Fenelon
Lives of the Saints
, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. 1894]
March 1.—ST. DAVID, Bishop.
ST. DAVID, son of Sant, Prince of Cardigan and of Non, was born in that country in the fifth century, and from his earliest years gave himself wholly to the service of God. He began his religious life under St. Paulinus, a disciple of St. Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre, who had been sent to Britain by Pope St. Celestine to stop the ravages of the heresy of Pelagius, at that time abbot, as it is said, of Bangor. On the reappearance of that heresy, in the beginning of the sixth century, the bishops assembled at Brevi, and, unable to address the people that came to hear the word of truth, sent for St. David from his cell to preach to them. The Saint came, and it is related that, as he preached, the ground beneath his feet rose and became a hill, so that he was heard by an innumerable crowd. The heresy fell under the sword of the Spirit, and the Saint was elected Bishop of Caerleon on the resignation of St. Dubricius; but he removed the see to Menevia, a lone and desert spot, where he might, with his monks, serve God away from the noise of the world. He founded twelve monasteries, and governed his Church according to the canons sanctioned in Rome. At last, when about eighty years of age, he laid himself down, knowing that his hour was come. As his agony closed, Our Lord stood before him in a vision, and the Saint cried out: "Take me up with Thee," and so gave up his soul on Tuesday, March 1, 561.Download March Notebooking Pages, including one for St. David
This Weeks Friday Fare