"None but God, eternal and incomprehensible, who fills all things, can afford true comfort to the soul and true joy to the heart." - Thomas A. Kempis St. Paschal Baylon
PICTORIAL LIVES OF THE SAINTS WITH REFLECTIONS FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR
May 17.—ST. PASCHAL BAYLON.
FROM a child Paschal seems to have been marked out for the service of God; and amidst his daily labors he found time to instruct and evangelize the rude herdsmen who kept their flocks on the hills of Arragon. At the rage of twenty-four he entered the Franciscan Order, in which, however, he remained, from humility, a simple lay-brother, and occupied himself, by preference, with the roughest and most servile tasks. He was distinguished by an ardent love and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. He would spend hours on his knees before the tabernacle—often he was raised from the ground in the fervor of his prayer—and there, from the very and eternal Truth, he drew such stores of wisdom that, unlettered as he was, he was counted by all a master in theology and spiritual science. Shortly after his profession he was called to Paris on business connected with his Order. The journey was full of peril, owing to the hostility of the Huguenots, who were numerous at the time in the south of France; and on four separate occasions Paschal was in imminent danger of death at the hands of the heretics. But it was not God's will that His servant should obtain the crown of martyrdom which, though judging himself all unworthy of it, he so earnestly desired, and he returned in safety to his convent, where he died in the odor of sanctity, May 15, 1592.
As Paschal was watching his sheep on the mountainside, he heard the consecration bell ring out from a church in the valley below, where the villagers were assembled for Mass. The Saint fell on his knees, when suddenly there stood before him an angel of God, bearing in his hands the Sacred Host, and offering it for his adoration. Learn from this how pleasing to Jesus Christ are those who honor Him in this great mystery of His love; and how to them especially this promise is fulfilled: "I will not leave you orphans: I will come unto you " (John xiv. 18) .Reflection
.—St. Paschal teaches us never to suffer a day to pass without visiting Jesus in the narrow chamber where He, Whom the heaven itself cannot contain, abides day and night for our sake.
This weeks Friday Fare..... Food for the Soul
ANECDOTES AND EXAMPLES FOR THE CATECHISM
By: Rev. Francis Spirago +Imprimatur 1908
Q.How many kinds of contrition are there?A. There are wtwo kinds of contrition: perfect contrition and imperfect contrition.
THE DISOBEDIENT BOYS
Contrition is either perfect or imperfect. A sick man sent his two boys to the apothecary for some medicine. On their way the lads fell in with a man who was leading a dancing bear, and they ran after him, forgetting the errand on which they were sent. Toward evening they remembered what their father had told them, bought the medicine, and hastened homward. When they got near the house, one of the boys began to cry, saying: "I am afraid to go in, for I am sure father will flog me." The other said: "We were very wrong to run off like that and displease our good father." The former of the two boys resembs the sinner who is sorry for his sin because he forsees that he will be punished by God. The latter is an example of asinner who has perfect contrition, who is sorry for his sin because he has thereby offended God. The repentance of the one arises from fear of God; that of the other from love of God.Q. What is perfect contrition?A. Perfect contrition is that which fills us with sorrow and hatred for sin, because it offends God, who is infinitely good in Himself and worthy of all love.
THE FIRE AT THE THEATER IN VIENNA
On the 8th of December, 1881, a fire broke out in the Ring Theater in Vienna, which spread with amazing rapidity. Every one made for the doors. Unfortunately the side doors, intended for the scape in caes of fire, were locked, so that over four hundred persons perished in the flames. A few more fortunate individuals made their way into a corridor; amongst these was a girl who had not long left school, and who remembered having while there heard the catechist say that if they were in danger of death they should make an act of perfect contrition. Thereupon she repeated aloud an act of contrition; after which, turning around, her hand came into contact with the latch of door behind her. The door yielded to a slight pressure, and all who were in the corridor gained access to a room from the windows of which they could attract the attention of the people in the street, and obtain rescue by means of a fire-escape. With the exception of these favored persons, very few of those who filled the theater at the time the fire broke out were rescued from death.Q. What is imperfect contrition?A. Imperfect contrition is that by which we hate what offends God, because by it we lose heaven and deserve hell or because sin is so hateful in itself.
THE ACCIDENT ON THE RHINE NEAR BINGEN
In the spring of the year 1900 a pleasure party, consisting of about thirty persons returning from an excursion, were being conveyed across the Rhine in a boat, when, just as they were halfway, they felt themselves sinking. The boat had sprung a leak and was beginning to fill with water. A priest who was in the boat immediately called upon the passengers to make an act of contrition and gave them the absolution. Only three persons were rescued: one of these was the priest in question. Such dangers are very often permitted by God to recall us to Himself, and rescue or disaster depends on whether or not the desired effect was produced.Q. Is imperfect contrition sufficient for a worthy confession?A. Imperfect contrition is sufficient for a worthy confession, but we should endeavor to have perfect contrition.
A CASE OF SUDDEN DEATH
It happened once that the father of a family broke a blood vessel. A messenger was instantly dispatched to summon a priest, but the nearest place where one was to be found was about four miles distant. Meanwhile the youngest child, who had recently made his first communion, perceiving that his father's life was fast ebbing away, took a crucifix down from the wall, and, holding it before the dying man's eyes, repeated aloud an act of perfect contrition. Tears filled the father's eyes; he expired before the priest arrived, but undoubtedly, on account of the real repentance he felt, he was safe for all eternity.
Q. Is it well to receive holy communion often?A. It is well to receive holy communion often, as nothing is greater aid to a holy life than often to receive the Author of all grace and the Source of all good.
A CRIMINAL CONDEMNED TO DIE OF STARVATION
Spiritual communion consists in the earnest desire to receive holy communion, and when the actual reception of the Blessed Sacrament is impossible, spiritual communions are advisable and are productive of grace. In the olden times a king once sentenced one of his subjects to be starved to death in punishment of a heinous crime. The condemned criminal besought the king to permit him to make his peace with God before paying the penalty of his sins. The king granted the desired permission, and a priest was conducted to the cell where he was confined. The man made his confession, and the priest was about to administer holy communion to him when the soldiers who were on guard in the cell interposed, saying that the man must not have anything given him to eat; he was condemned to die of hunger. The unhappy criminal fell on his knees, and exclaimed: "Lord Jesus, Thou art present here under the form of bread.I long for Thee, but I am not allowed to receive Thee. Come to me in an invisible manner; Thou who art almighty canst do this." This man had a heartfelt desire to receive holy communion. Such a lively desire is called spiritual communion. We should communicate spiritually, when we hear Mass, at the priest's communion.READ MORE ON PERFECT CONTRITION IN THE PAMPHLET- PERFECT CONTRITION THE GOLDEN KEY TO HEAVEN AVAILABLE AT ALL THE SAINTS BOOKS
"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.
"In every pious undertaking the beginning merely
does not suffice. "Whoso shall persevere unto the
end, he shall be saved.""
Pictorial Lives of the Saints
May 3.—THE DISCOVERY OF THE HOLY CROSS. GOD having restored peace to His Church, by exalting Constantine the Great to the imperial throne, that pious prince, who had triumphed over his enemies by the miraculous power of the cross, was very desirous of expressing his veneration for the holy places which had been honored and sanctified by the presence and sufferings of our blessed Redeemer on earth, and accordingly resolved to build a magnificent church in the city of Jerusalem. St. Helen, the emperor's mother, desiring to visit the holy places there, undertook a journey into Palestine in 326, though at that time near eighty years of age; and on her arrival at Jerusalem was inspired with a great desire to find the identical cross on which Christ had suffered for our sins. But there was no mark or tradition, even amongst the Christians, to show where it lay. The heathens, out of an aversion to Christianity, had done what they could to conceal the place where Our Saviour was buried, by heaping on it a great quantity of stones and rubbish, and building on it a temple to Venus. They had, moreover, erected a statue of Jupiter in the place where Our Saviour rose from the dead. Helen, to carry out her pious design, consulted every one at Jerusalem and near it whom she thought likely to assist her in finding out the cross; and was credibly informed that, if she could find out the sepulchre, she would likewise find the instruments of the punishment; it being the custom among the Jews to make a hole near the place where the body of a criminal was buried, and to throw into it whatever belonged to his execution.
The pious empress, therefore, ordered the profane buildings to be pulled down, the statues to be broken in pieces, and the rubbish to be removed; and, upon digging to a great depth, the holy sepulchre, and near it three crosses, also the nails which had pierced Our Saviour's body, and the title which had been fixed to His cross, were found. By this discovery they knew that one of the three crosses was that which they were in quest of, and that the others belonged to the two malefactors between whom Our Saviour had been crucified. But, as the title was found separate from the cross, it was difficult to distinguish which of the three crosses was that on which our divine Redeemer consummated His sacrifice for the salvation of the world. In this perplexity the holy Bishop Macarius, knowing that one of the principal ladies of the city lay extremely ill, suggested to the empress to cause the three crosses to be carried to the sick person, not doubting but God would discover which was the cross they sought for. This being done, St. Macarius prayed that God would have regard to their faith, and, after his prayer, applied the crosses singly to the patient, who was immediately and perfectly recovered by the touch of one of the three crosses, the other two having been tried without effect. St. Helen, full of joy at having found the treasure which she had so earnestly sought and so highly esteemed, built a church on the spot, and lodged the cross there with great veneration, having provided an extraordinarily rich case for it. She afterwards carried part of it to the Emperor Constantine, then at Constantinople, who received it with great veneration; another part she sent or rather carried to Rome, to be placed in the church which she had built there, called Of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem, where it remains to this day. The title was sent by St. Helen to the same church, and placed on the top of an arch, where it was found in a case of lead in 1492. The inscription in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin is in red letters, and the wood was whitened. Thus it was in 1492; but these colors are since faded. Also the words Jesus
are eaten away. The board is nine, but must have been twelve, inches long.
The main part of the cross St. Helen inclosed in a silver shrine, and committed it to the care of St. Macarius, that it might be delivered down to posterity, as an object of veneration. It was accordingly kept with singular care and respect in the magnificent church which she and her son built in Jerusalem. St. Paulinus relates that, though chips were almost daily cut off from it and given to devout persons, yet the sacred wood suffered thereby no diminution. It is affirmed by St, Cyril of Jerusalem, twenty-five years after the discovery, that pieces of the cross were spread all over the earth; he compares this wonder to the miraculous feeding of five thousand men, as recorded in the Gospel. The discovery of the cross must have happened about the month of May, or early in the spring; for St. Helen went the same year to Constantinople, and from thence to Rome, where she died in the arms of her son on the 18th of August, 326. Reflection
.—In every pious undertaking the beginning merely does not suffice. "Whoso shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved."
This Weeks Friday Fare .... Spiritual Food for the Soul
Find hundreds of meatless recipes in our previous Feria Friday posts
, today's food is spiritual food for the soul.Anecdotes and Examples Illustrating the Catholic Catechism
By: Rev. Francis Spirago +Imprimatur 1908Q. Why did God make you?A God made me to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.THE BLASPHEMER AND THE MONKNo one can be saved without exertion on his part. Some foolish people assert that no man can influence his destiny. A Franciscan monk, Duns Scotus by name, was one day walking alongside a field where a laborer was at work, cursing and swearing all the time. The monk begged him to desist, telling him if he used such bad language he would surely go to hell. The man answered: "If God has decreed that I shall go to hell, no prayers will avail me anything; if He has decreed that I shall go to heaven, I shall be saved, however much I curse and swear." "If so,"
said the priest rejoined, "I cannot understand why you are plowing this field. For if God has decreed that you shall have a good crop, you will have one although you do not cultivate your land: but if He has decreed that the harvest shall fail, all your labor will be in vain." The peasant replied that if he did not till the ground there would certainly be no harvest. The priest smiled, and said: "There, ou have just reversed your former argument." Thus the man's eyes were opened to the falsity of fatalism.Q. Of which must we take more care, our soul or our body?A. We must take more care of our soul than of our body.AND THEN?A student once came to St. Philip Neri and asked him for an alms. The saint gave it to him, at the same time inquiring what he was going to be. The student replied, "I am going to be a barrister." The saint asked: "And what then?" The young man replied: "I shall earn a good deal by my persuasive tongue." "And then?" the saint again asked. "Why then I shall enjoy a comfortable competence in my old age." "And then?" the saint rejoined. Thereupon the young man's countenance clouded over, and he said sadly: "Then of course at last I must die." "And then?" the saint once more repeated. The young man did not answer a word, but went away with downcast looks. The words, "And then?" - sounded incessantly in his ears; he could not get them out of his mind. They made a pious and virtuous man of hm later on.THE THREE MIRRORSThere is no real beauty without virtue. A school girl, writing home, asked her mother to send her a looking-glass. Her mother, a sensible and Christian lady, when she answered the letter, said: "I am sending you a parcel by post in which are three mirrors. The first will show you to yourself as you are; the second will show you what you will be; the third will show you what you ought to be."When the box arrived, the girl opened it with curiosity; the first thing she took out was an ordinary looking-glass; then there was the representation of a skull; below both of these was beautiful statuette of Our Lady. Thus the pious mother sought to impress upon her daughter's mind that personal beauty is transitory and is effaced by the hand of death; and for this reason a maiden ought to imitate the virtues of the Mother of God, since thus alone will she attain true loveliness, a beauty which does not pass away with this mortal life, - the beauty of the soul, which lasts eternally. Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain, says Holy Writ. I am black but beautiful, for the beauty of the King's daughter is from within.
"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
'It is to be a martyr, to suffer patiently, and with gratitude, the ills inseparable from our human existence, and which are common both to the just and to sinners, and we are not deprived of the glory which is attached to this title because we have not shed our blood in honour of Jesus Christ."
- St. Cyprian
Catholic Life Imprimatur 1908
There is one attribute common to all the human race, no matter what in life, age, or race they may be, and that is suffering. For such a common ill there must be palliatives, which, while not curing, render them more tolerable and meritorious. The remembrance of the patience of the Man-God in His unspeakable afflictions must always be our great solace; as also the thought that our night of suffering is the dawn of hope, and that suffering is a school in which we are taught to grow in holiness by God Himself; for the soul is purified in the furnace of affliction as precious metals are by fire. Our holy mother the Church, anxious to afford her children every help possible, proposes this month the consideration of the sorrows of our Blessed Lady, to show us that sufferings accompany the highest sanctity, and to point out to us a model for imitation. From the time of Simeon's prophecy - forty days after the birth of her Divine Son - her sufferings may be said to have lasted till her death. At times they were more intense, as when she had to fly with her Child to Egypt to save His life; when she lost Him for three days; at her meeting Him carrying His Cross; when she stood beneath the Cross and saw the soldier pierce His side with a lance; or when she laid Him in the sepulcher.
When we consider Who was the Son, who the Mother, and what the sufferings, we can easily understand why she is styled “Queen of Martyrs." Moreover, there were circumstances which increased her sufferings immensely, and which are apt to escape our notice; for example, she suffered from the thought that her sufferings were an additional cause of the pain to her Divine Son, Who loved her as no other son loved his mother; and then she was so helpless that she could not sooth His pains by such ordinary means as a cup of water or a caress. Thus, we can never consider the sorrows of Mary without coupling them with the sorrows of her Son. The two are so inseparably united that she is styled the co-redemptress of the world, and thus we can understand her deep sympathy and readiness to succour poor sinners. Only those who have suffered can measure the depths of others' woes, and sympathize with crushed and wounded hearts: and as no one, after Jesus, has suffered so much as our
Blessed Mother, so no one, after Jesus, can dry our tears, lighten our cross, or soothe our grief’s, like Mary. She will show us the value of sufferings, which detach us from the things of earth, make us desire heavenly goods, and increase our merit in Heaven by causing us to practice many virtues, especially patience, resignation, and sympathy for others. In our trials and sufferings, let us, in imitation of our Blessed Lady, perform our daily duties as if we were free from sorrow. Let us pray, making short, affectionate, frequent aspirations of resignation, love, and confidence. Let us forget our grief's by sympathizing with and helping those whose troubles are heavier than our own. "Gentle Mother, we beseech thee, By thy tears and troubles sore, By the death of thy dear offspring, By the many wounds He bore, Touch our hearts with that true sorrow Which afflicted thee of yore."
Example - St. Ignatius of Loyola
There is preserved at Saragossa, in Spain, a picture of Our Lady of Seven Dolours, which was much used by St. Ignatius. It is an ordinary print, representing Mary seated at the foot of the Cross, her heart pierced by a sword, her hands joined, and her head lowered. The features express profound affliction, combined with peace and resignation. The Saint held this picture in singular veneration. He wore it on his breast from the time of his conversion till his death, a period of thirty-five years. He assures us that he had received from God, by means of this devotion, extraordinary graces on all occasions. No wonder, then, that he was so full of tenderness for others. At the beginning of his stay in Paris, he had entrusted the little money he possessed to a young Spaniard, who, after spending part of it, ran away with the rest, leaving the Saint utterly destitute, and obliged to interrupt his studies in order to beg for his daily bread.
Some time afterwards, hearing that this youth was dangerously ill at Rouen, Ignatius instantly left Paris, and walked barefooted to that city - seventy miles - hardly stopping to rest on the way. He nursed the young man with tenderest care, collected money to pay his way home, and only left him when he was sufficiently recovered to proceed on his road towards Spain.
This Weeks Friday (Spiritual) Friday Fare
By: Thomas Aquinas Imprimatur 1937
Passion Friday - OUR LADY S SUFFERING IN THE PASSION
Thy own soul a sword shall pierce. Luke ii. 35. In these words there is noted for us the close association of Our Lady with the Passion of Christ.
Four things especially made the Passion most bitter for her. They refused Him even water, nor would they allow His His mother, who would most lovingly have given it, to help Him. Thirdly, the disgrace of the punishment, Let us condemn him to a most shameful death (Wis. ii. 20). Fourthly, the cruelty of the torment. O ye that pass by the way, attend and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorroiv (Lam. i. 12).
(Serm.) The words of Simeon, Thy own soul a sword shall pierce Origen, and other doctors with him, explain with reference to the pain felt by Our Lady in the Passion of Christ. St. Ambrose, however, says that by the sword is signified Our Lady's prudence, thanks to which she was not without knowledge of the heavenly mystery. For the word of God is a living thing, strong and keener than the keenest sword (cf. Heb. iv. 12). Other writers again, St. Augustine for example, understand by the sword the stupefaction that overcame Our Lady at the death of her Son, not the doubt that goes with lack of faith but a certain fluctuation of bewilderment, a staggering of the mind. St. Basil, too, says that as Our Lady
stood by the cross with all the detail of the Passion before her, and in her mind the testimony of Gabriel, the message that words cannot tell of her divine conception, and all the vast array of miracles, her mind swayed, for she saw Him the victim of such vileness, and yet knew Him for the author of such wonders. (3 27 4 ad 2.)
Firstly, the goodness of her son, Who did no sin (i Pet. ii. 22). Secondly, the cruelty of those who crucified Him, shown, for example, in this that as He lay dying. Although Our Lady knew by faith that it was God s will that Christ should suffer, and although she brought her will into unity with God s will
in this matter, as the saints do, nevertheless, sadness filled her soul at the death of Christ. This was because her lower will revolted at the particular thing she had willed and this is not contrary to perfection. (i Dist. 48 q unica a 3.)
"No good can be accomplished save by and with the Cross." - Venerable Mother Barat
Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. 1894
March 15.—ST. ZACHARY, Pope.
ST. ZACHARY succeeded Gregory III., in 741, and was a man of singular meekness and goodness. He loved the clergy and people of Rome to that degree that he hazarded his life for them on occasion of the troubles which Italy fell into by the rebellion of the Dukes of Spoleto and Benevento against King Luitprand. Out of respect to his sanctity and dignity, that king restored to the Church of Rome all the places which belonged to it, and sent back the captives without ransom. The Lombards were moved to tears at the devotion with which they heard him perform the divine service. The zeal and prudence of this holy Pope appeared in many wholesome regulations which he had made to reform or settle the discipline and peace of several churches. St. Boniface, the Apostle of Germany, wrote to him against a certain priest named Virgilius, that he labored to sow the seeds of discord between him and Odilo, Duke of Bavaria, and taught, besides, many errors. Zachary ordered that Virgilius should be sent to Rome, that his doctrine might be examined. It seems that he cleared himself; for we find this same Virgilius soon after made Bishop of Salzburg. Certain Venetian merchants having bought at Rome many slaves to sell to the Moors in Africa, St. Zachary forbade such an iniquitous traffic, and, paying the merchants their price, gave the slaves their liberty. He adorned Rome with sacred buildings, and with great foundations in favor of the poor and pilgrims, and gave every year a considerable sum to furnish oil for the lamps in St. Peter's Church. He died in 752, in the month of March.
This Weeks Friday Fare.... is Spiritual Food for the Soul
Thoughts on the Passion For Each Day in the Week
"Behold the Man." Yet scarcely recognizable as such. Behold the Man, the mirror in which the Eternal Father discovers to men the abyss of HIs mercy, the abyss of HIs justice, the abyss of their own malice. Behold the Man, and in Him the melancholy condition of a sinful soul; in Him how innocence is punished for the guilty. Behold the Man! the joy of the blessed in heaven, the man through whom alone we may hope for mercy.
"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