QUEEN OF THE SAINTS
I THE SAINTS ON THE MASS II ST. STEPHEN III ST. GERARD MAJELLA
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I The Saints on the Mass
It will edify the pious reader to transcribe a few of the numberless sayings of God's servants, to show how the foundation of salvation, and how sublime and exalted were their ideas of the mysteries of the altar. St. Augustine says, "that Jesus Christ, though omnipotent, could give nothing more than His Body and Blood." St. Thomas of Aquin says, that the Mass "is the greatest of all God's miracles, but it is an abridgment of all the wonders he has ever wrought." St. Bonaventure says: "The Mass is a compendium of all God's love, and of all his benefits to men."--(De Instit.c. ii.) St. Francis of Sales called the Mass " a mystery which comprises the entire byss of Divine Love." --(Pilot. c. xiv.)( St. Chrysostom says: "The holy sacrament of the altar is the treasure of all God,s benignity." Hence St. Liguori concludes, "that all the honors which angels by their homages, and menby their virtues, penances, and martyrdoms, and other holy works, have ever given to God, could not give him as much glory as a single Mass."--(Selva).
The reader will excuse a long quotation from "The Hidden Treasure"of ST. Leonard of Port Maurice. He says: The Mass is the sun of Christianity, the soul of faith, the center of the Catholic religion, the grand object of all her rites, ceremonies, and sacraments; in a work, it is the condensation of all that is good and beautiful in the Church of Christ." Again he says: "The Mass is the miracle of miracles,the wonders of wonders.""O treasures inestimable ! O treasure beyond all human comprehension !" "The Mass," he concludes, "is the sun of our holy religion, which dissipates the clouds and restores serenity to the heavens. It is the celestial rainbow that stills the tempest of divine justice. For my part I am persuaded that, if it were not for the Holy Mass, the world would have long since tottered from its foundations, crushed beneath the enormous weight of its many accumulated iniquities. The Mass is the ponderous and powerful supporter on which the world rests—which keeps it from falling into horrid chaos."-(p. xiii.) "When the priest," says the Imitation of Christ," "celebrates, he honors God, rejoices the angels, edifies the Church, helps the living, obtains rest for the dead, and makes himself partaker of all that is good,".
Such is the adorable Sacrifice of the Mass, as taught us by the Word of God and the writings of his Saints. If Christians but meditated on these great mysteries, and realized in their souls what faith teaches, in what esteem, love, and reverence they would hold the Holy Mass! They would regard it as the greatest blessing and privilege of their lives to be allowed to assist at Mass. They would never omit even one opportunity of so doing. And with what devotion, piety, reverence, and awe they would join the angels round the throne of Jesus Christ! May Jesus inspire us all with this lively faith.
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II SAINT STEPHEN
Little Did All The People Present, Casting Stone Upon Him, Realize That The Blood They Shed Was The First Seed Of Harvest That Was To Cover The World.
One of the first deacons and the first Christian martyr; feast on 26 December. In the Acts of the Apostles the name of St. Stephen occurs for the first time on the occasion of the appointment of the first deacons (Acts 6:5). Dissatisfaction concerning the distribution of alms from the community's fund having arisen in the Church, seven men were selected and specially ordained by the Apostles to take care of the temporal relief of the poorer members. Of these seven, Stephen, is the first mentioned and the best known.
Stephen's life previous to this appointment remains for us almost entirely in the dark. His name is Greek and suggests he was a Hellenist, i.e., one of those Jews who had been born in some foreign land and whose native tongue was Greek; however, according to a fifth century tradition, the name Stephanos was only a Greek equivalent for the Aramaic Kelil (Syr. kelila, crown), which may be the protomartyr's original name and was inscribed on a slab found in his tomb. It seems that Stephen was not a proselyte, for the fact that Nicolas is the only one of the seven designated as such makes it almost certain that the others were Jews by birth. That Stephen was a pupil of Gamaliel is sometimes inferred from his able defence before the Sanhedrin; but this has not been proved. Neither do we know when and in what circumstances he became a Christian; it is doubtful whether the statement of St. Epiphanius (Haer., xx, 4) numbering Stephen among the seventy disciples is deserving of any credence. His ministry as deacon appears to have been mostly among the Hellenist converts with whom the Apostles were at first less familiar; and the fact that the opposition he met with sprang up in the synagogues of the "Libertines" (probably the children of Jews taken captive to Rome by Pompey in 63 B.C. and freed hence the name (Libertini), and "of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia" shows that he usually preached among the Hellenist Jews. That he was pre eminently fitted for that work, his abilities and character, which the author of the Acts dwells upon so fervently, are the best indication.
The Church had, by selecting him for a deacon, publicly acknowledged him as a man "of good reputation, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom" (Acts 6:3). He was "a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost" (vi, 5), "full of grace and fortitude" (vi, 8); his uncommon oratorical powers and unimpeachable logic no one was able to resist, so much so that to his arguments replete with the Divine energy of the Scriptural authorities God added the weight of "great wonders and signs" (vi, 8). Great as was the efficacy of "the wisdom and the spirit that spoke" (vi, 10), still it could not bend the minds of the unwilling; to these the forceful preacher was fatally soon to become an enemy.
The conflict broke out when the cavillers of the synagogues "of the Libertines, and of the Cyreneans, and of the Alexandrians, and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia", who had Cyreneans challenged Stephen to a dispute, came out completely discomfited (vi, 9 10); wounded pride so inflamed their hatred that they suborned false witnesses to testify that "they had heard him speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God" (vi, 11).
No charge could be more apt to rouse the mob; the anger of the ancients and the scribes had been already kindled from the first reports of the preaching of the Apostles. Stephen was arrested, not without some violence it seems (the Greek word synerpasan implies so much), and dragged before the Sanhedrin, where he was accused of saying that "Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place [the temple], and shall change the traditions which Moses delivered unto us" (vi, 12 14). No doubt Stephen sad by his language given some grounds for the accusation; his accusers apparently twisted into the offensive utterance attributed to him a declaration that "the most High dwelleth not in houses made by hands" (vii, 48), some mention of Jesus foretelling the destruction of the Temple and some inveighing against the burthensome traditions fencing about the Law, or rather the asseveration so often repeated by the Apostles that "there is no salvation in any other" (cf. iv, 12) the Law not excluded but Jesus. However this may be, the accusation left him unperturbed and "all that sat in the council...saw his face as if it had been the face of an angel" (vi, 15).
Stephen's answer (Acts 7) was a long recital of the mercies of God towards Israel during its long history and of the ungratefulness by which, throughout, Israel repaid these mercies. This discourse contained many things unpleasant to Jewish ears; but the concluding indictment for having betrayed and murdered the Just One whose coming the Prophets had foretold, provoked the rage of an audience made up not of judges, but of foes. When Stephen "looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God", and said: "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God" (vii, 55), they ran violently upon him (vii, 56) and cast him out of the city to stone him to death. Stephen's stoning does not appear in the narrative of the Acts as a deed of mob violence; it must have been looked upon by those who took part in it as the carrying out of the law. According to law (Leviticus 24:14), or at least its usual interpretation, Stephen had been taken out of the city; custom required that the person to be stoned be placed on an elevation from whence with his hands bound he was to be thrown down. It was most likely while these preparations were going on that, "falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge" (vii, 59). Meanwhile the witnesses, whose hands must be first on the person condemned by their testimony (Deuteronomy 17:7), were laying down their garments at the feet of Saul, that they might be more ready for the task devolved upon them (vii, 57). The praying martyr was thrown down; and while the witnesses were thrusting upon him "a stone as much as two men could carry", he was heard to utter this supreme prayer: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (vii, 58). Little did all the people present, casting stones upon him, realize that the blood they shed was the first seed of a harvest that was to cover the world.
Stephen's funeral, and made great mourning over him" (vii, 2). For centuries the location of St. Stephen's tomb was lost sight of, until (415) a certain priest named Lucian learned by revelation that the sacred body was in Caphar Gamala, some distance to the north of Jerusalem. The relics were then exhumed and carried first to the church of Mount Sion, then, in 460, to the basilica erected by Eudocia outside the Damascus Gate, on the spot where, according to tradition, the stoning had taken place (the opinion that the scene of St. Stephen's martyrdom was east of Jerusalem, near the Gate called since St. Stephen's Gate, is unheard of until the twelfth century). The site of the Eudocian basilica was identified some twenty years ago, and a new edifice has been erected on the old foundations by the Dominican Fathers.
The bodies of men stoned to death were to be buried in a place appointed by the Sanhedrin. Whether in this instance the Sanhedrin insisted on its right cannot be affirmed; at any rate, "devout men" -- whether Christians or Jews, we are not told -- "took order for
The only first hand source of information on the life and death of St. Stephen is the Acts of the Apostles (6:1-8:2). THE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA - 1912
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III SAINT GERARD MAJELLAHis only ambition was to be like Jesus Christ
in His sufferings and humiliations.
Born in Muro, about fifty miles south of Naples, in April, 1726; died Oct. 1755; beatified by Leo XIII on January 29 1893, and cannonized by Pius X, December, 1904. His only anbition was to be like Jesus Christ in His sufferings and humiliations. His father, Dominic Majella, died while Gerard was a child. His pious mother, owing to povery, was obliged to apprentice him a tailor. His master loved him, but the foreman treated him crulely. His reverance for the priesthood and his love of suffering led him to take service in the house of a prelate, who was very hard to please. On the latter's death Gerard reurned to his trade, working first as journeyman and then on his own account. His earnings were divided between his mother and the poor, and in offerings for the souls in Purgatory. After futile attempts first to become a Franciscan and then a hermit, he entered the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer in 1749. Two years latter he made his profession, and to the unusal vows he added one by which he bound himself to do always that which seemed to him more perfect. St. Aphonsus considered him a miracle of obedience. He not only obeyed the orders of superiors when present, but also when absent knew and obeyed their desires. Although weak in body, he did the work of three, and his great charity earned for the title of Father of the Poor. He was a model of evry virtue, and so drawn to Our Lord in the tabernackle that he had to do violence to himself to keep away. An angel in purity, he was accused of a shameful crime; but he bore the calumny with such patience that St. Alphonsus said: "Brother Gerard is a saint". He was favoured with infused knowledge of the highest order, ecstasies, prophecy, discerment of spirits and penetration of hearts, bilocation, and with what seemed an unlimited power over nature nature,sickness, and the devils. When he accompied the Fathers of the missions, or was sent out on business, he converted life, he had continued to be the same since his death.ed to be the same since his death.
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IV SAINT JEAN MARIE VIANNEY
During the last ten years of his life, he spent from
sixteen to eighteen hours a day in the Confessional.
Curé of Ars, born at Dardilly, near Lyons, France, on 8 May, 1786;
died at Ars, 4 August, 1859; son of Matthieu Vianney and Marie Beluze.
In 1806, the curé at Ecully, M. Balley, opened a school for ecclesiastical students, and Jean-Marie was sent to him. Though he was of average intelligence and his masters never seem to have doubted his vocation, his knowledge was extremely limited, being confined to a little arithmetic, history, and geography, and he found learning, especially the study of Latin, excessively difficult. One of his fellowstudents, Matthias Loras, afterwards first Bishop of Dubuque, assisted him with his Latin lessons.
But now another obstacle presented itself. Young Vianney was drawn in the conscription, the war with Spain and the urgent need of recruits having caused Napoleon to withdraw the exemption enjoyed by the ecclesiastical students in the diocese of his uncle, Cardinal Fesch. Matthieu Vianney tried unsuccessfully to procure a substitute, so his son was obliged to go. His regiment soon received marching orders. The morning of departure, Jean-Baptiste went to church to pray, and on his return to the barracks found that his comrades had already left. He was threatened with arrest, but the recruiting captain believed his story and sent him after the troops. At nightfall he met a young man who volunteered to guide him to his fellow-soldiers, but led him to Noes, where some deserters had gathered. The mayor persuaded him to remain there, under an assumed name, as schoolmaster. After fourteen months, he was able to communicate with his family. His father was vexed to know that he was a deserter and ordered him to surrender but the matter was settled by his younger brother offering to serve in his stead and being accepted.
Jean-Baptiste now resumed his studies at Ecully. In 1812, he was sent to the seminary at Verrieres; he was so deficient in Latin as to be obliged to follow the philosophy course in French. He failed to pass the examinations for entrance to the seminary proper, but on re-examination three months later succeeded. On 13 August, 1815, he was ordained priest by Mgr. Simon, Bishop of Grenoble. His difficulties in making the preparatory studies seem to have been due to a lack of mental suppleness in dealing with theory as distinct from practice -- a lack accounted for by the meagreness of his early schooling, the advanced age at which he began to study, the fact that he was not of more than average intelligence, and that he was far advanced in spiritual science and in the practice of virtue long before he came to study it in the abstract. He was sent to Ecully as assistant to M. Balley, who had first recognized and encouraged his vocation, who urged him to persevere when the obstacles in his way seemed insurmountable, who interceded with the examiners when he failed to pass for the higher seminary, and who was his model as well as his preceptor and patron. In 1818, after the death of M. Balley, M. Vianney was made parish priest of Ars, a village not very far from Lyons. It was in the exercise of the functions of the parish priest in this remote French hamlet that as the "curé d'Ars" he became known throughout France and the Christian world. A few years after he went to Ars, he founded a sort of orphanage for destitute girls. It was called "The Providence" and was the model of similar institutions established later all over France. M. Vianney himself instructed the children of "The Providence" in the catechism, and these catechetical instructions came to be so popular that at last they were given every day in the church to large crowds. "The Providence" was the favourite work of the "curé d'Ars", but, although it was successful, it was closed in 1847, because the holy curé thought that he was not justified in maintaining it in the face of the opposition of many good people. Its closing was a very heavy trial to him.
But the chief labour of the Curé d'Ars was the direction of souls. He had not been long at Ars when people began coming to him from other parishes, then from distant places, then from all parts of France, and finally from other countries. As early as 1835, his bishop forbade him to attend the annual retreats of the diocesan clergy because of "the souls awaiting him yonder". During the last ten years of his life, he spent from sixteen to eighteen hours a day in the confessional. His advice was sought by bishops, priests, religious, young men and women in doubt as to their vocation, sinners, persons in all sorts of difficulties and the sick. In 1855, the number of pilgrims had reached twenty thousand a year. The most distinguished persons visited Ars for the purpose of seeing the holy curé and hearing his daily instruction. The Venerable Father Colin was ordained deacon at the same time, and was his life-long friend, while Mother Marie de la Providence founded the Helpers of the Holy Souls on his advice and with his constant encouragement. His direction was characterized by common sense, remarkable insight, and supernatural knowledge. He would sometimes divine sins withheld in an imperfect confession. His instructions were simple in language, full of imagery drawn from daily life and country scenes, but breathing faith and that love of God which was his life principle and which he infused into his audience as much by his manner and appearance as by his words, for, at the last, his voice was almost inaudible.
The miracles recorded by his biographers are of three classes:
• first, the obtaining of money for his charities and food for his orphans;
• secondly, supernatural knowledge of the past and future;
• thirdly, healing the sick, especially children.
The greatest miracle of all was his life. He practised mortification from his early youth. and for forty years his food and sleep were insufficient, humanly speaking, to sustain life. And yet he laboured incessantly, with unfailing humility, gentleness, patience, and cheerfulness, until he was more than seventy-three years old.
On 3 October, 1874 Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney was proclaimed Venerable by Pius IX and on 8 January, 1905, he was enrolled among the Blessed. Pope Pius X proposed him as a model to the parochial clergy. [Note: In 1925, Pope Pius XI canonized him. His feast is kept on 4
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V BLESSED CATHERINE LABOURE
"O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee"
The devotion commonly known as that of the Miraculous Medal owes its origin to Zoe Labore, a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, known in religion as Sister Catherine [Note: She was subsequently canonized], to whom the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared three separate times in the year 1830, at the motherhouse of the community at Paris. The first of these apparitions occurred 18 July, the second 27 November, and the third a short time later. On the second occasion, Sister Catherine records that the Blessed Virgin appeared as if standing on a globe, and bearing a globe in her hands. As if from rings set with precious stones dazzling rays of light were emitted from her fingers. These, she said, were symbols of the graces which would be bestowed on all who asked for them. Sister Catherine adds that around the figure appeared an oval frame bearing in golden letters the words "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee"; on the back appeared the letter M, surmounted by a cross, with a crossbar beneath it, and under all the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the former surrounded by a crown of thorns, and the latter pierced by a sword.
At the second and third of these visions a command was given to have a medal struck after the model revealed, and a promise of great graces was made to those who wear it when blessed. After careful investigation, M. Aladel, the spiritual director of Sister Catherine, obtained the approval of Mgr. de Quelen, Archbishop of Paris, and on 30 June, 1832, the first medals were struck and with their distribution the devotion spread rapidly. One of the most remarkable facts recorded in connection with the Miraculous Medal is the conversion of a Jew, Alphonse Ratisbonne of Strasburg, who had resisted the appeals of a friend to enter the Church. M. Ratisbonne consented, somewhat reluctantly, to wear the medal, and being in Rome, he entered, by chance, the church of Sant' Andrea delle Fratte and beheld in a vision the Blessed Virgin exactly as she is represented on the medal; his conversion speedily followed. This fact has received ecclesiastical sanction, and is recorded in the office of the feast of the Miraculous Medal. In 1847, M. Etienne, superior-general of the Congregation of the Mission, obtained from Pope Pius IX the privilege of establishing in the schools of the Sisters of Charity a confraternity under the title of the Immaculate Conception, with all the indulgences attached to a similar society established for its students at Rome by the Society of Jesus. This confraternity adopted the Miraculous Medal as its badge, and the members, known as the Children of Mary, wear it attached to a blue ribbon. On 23 July, 1894, Pope Leo XIII, after a careful examination of all the facts by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, instituted a feast, with a special Office and Mass, of the Manifestation of the Immaculate Virgin under the title of the Miraculous Medal, to be celebrated yearly on 27 November by the Priests of the Congregation of the Mission, under the rite of a double of the second class. For ordinaries and religious communities who may ask the privilege of celebrating the festival, its rank is to be that of a double major feast. A further decree, dated 7 September, 1894, permits any priest to say the Mass proper to the feast in any chapel attached to a house of the Sisters of Charity.
In 1830 at the motherhouse of the sisters, Rue du Bac, Paris, Sister Catherine Labouré (declared venerable in 1907) had a vision of the Blessed Virgin, who urged her to have a medal made and distributed, since well known as the miraculous medal, through the wonders wrought in favour of those who wear it devoutly. Pope Leo XIII granted a special feast of Our Lady of Miraculous Medal to the double family of St. Vincent. The scapular of the Passion, or red scapular was revealed to Sister Apollone Andreveau in 1846 and approved by Pope Pius IX in 1847.
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VI SAINT DYMPHYNA
VIRGIN AND MARTYR
The earliest historical account of the veneration of St. Dymphna dates from the middle of the thirteenth century. Under Bishop Guy I of Cambrai (1238-47), Pierre, a canon of the church of Saint Aubert at Cambrai, wrote a "Vita" of the saint, from which we learn that she had been venerated for many years in a church at Gheel (province of Antwerp, Belgium), which was devoted to her. The author expressly states that he has drawn his biography from oral tradition.
According to the narrative, Dymphna -- the daughter of a pagan king of Ireland -- became a Christian and was secretly baptized. After the death of her mother, who was of extraordinary beauty, her father desired to marry his own daughter, who was just as beautiful, but she fled with the priest Gerebernus and landed at Antwerp. Thence they went to the village of Gheel, where there was a chapel of St. Martin, beside which they took up their abode. The messengers of her father however, discovered their whereabouts; the father betook himself thither and renewed his offer. Seeing that all was in vain, he commanded his servants to slay the priest, while he himself struck off the head of his daughter. The corpses were put in sarcophagi and entombed in a cave where they were found later. The body of St. Dymphna was buried in the church of Gheel, and the bones of St. Gerebernus were transferred to Kanten.
St. Dymphna and the time in which she lived. That she is identical with St. Damhnat of Ireland cannot be proved. There are at Gheel fragments of two simple ancient sarcophagi in which tradition says the bodies of Dymphna and Gerebernus were found. There is also a quadrangular brick, said to have been found in one of the sarcophagi, bearing two lines of letters read as DYMPNA. The discovery of this sarcophagus with the corpse and the brick was perhaps the origin of the veneration. In Christian art St. Dymphna is depicted with a sword in her hand and a fettered devil at her feet. Her feast is celebrated 15 May, under which date she is also found in the Roman martyrology.
This narrative is without any historical foundation, being merely a variation of the story of the king who wanted to marry his own daughter, a motif which appears frequently in popular legends. Hence we can conclude nothing from it as to the history of
St. Dymphna for their cure. The insane are treated in a peculiar manner; it is only in the beginning that they are placed in an institution for observation; later they are given shelter in the homes of the inhabitants, take part in their agricultural labours, and are treated very kindly. They are watched without being conscious of it. The treatment produces good results. The old church of St Dymphna in Gheel was destroyed by fire in 1489. The new church was consecrated in 1532 and is still standing. Every year on the feast of the saint and on the Tuesday after Pentecost numerous pilgrims visit her shrine. In Gheel there is also a fraternity under her name.
From time immemorial, the saint was invoked as patroness against insanity. The Bollandists have published numerous accounts of miraculous cures, especially between 1604 and 1668. As a result, there has long been a colony for lunatics at Gheel; even now there are sometimes as many as fifteen hundred whose relatives invoke
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VII SAINT NICHOLAS
He is Patron of Miners, Merchants, Bakers, Travellers, Children etc.
Nicholas of Myra (or of Bari). Saint, Bishop of Myra in lycia., died December 6 345 or 352. Through he is one of the most popular saints in the Greek as well as the Latin Church, there is scarcely anything historically certain about him expect that he was bishop of Myra in the fourth century. Some of the main points in his legend follows: He was born at Parara, a city of Lycia in Asia Minor; in his youth he made apilgrimage to Egypt and Pasestine; shortly after his return he became Bisop of Myra; cast into prison during the persecution of Diocletian, he was released after the accession of Constantine, and was present at the Council of Nicaea. In 1087 Italian merchants stole his body a Myra, and bringing his body to Bari.
The numerious miracles St. Nicholas is said to have wrought, both before and after his death, are outgrowths of a long tradition. There is reason to doubt his presence at Nicaea, since his name is not mentioned in any of the old list of bishops that attended this council. His cult in the Greek Church is old and especially popular in Russia.
As early as the the sixth century Emperor Justinian I built a church in hi shonour at Constantinople, and his name occurs in the liturgy ascribed to St.Chrysostom. In Italy his cult seems to have begun with translation of his relics to Bari, but Germany it began already under Otto II, probably because his wife Theophano was a Grecian. Bishop Reginald of Eicgstadt (died 991) is know to have written a metric "Vita S. Nicholai:, The course of centuries has not lessened his popularity. The following places honour him as patron: Greece, Russia, the Kingdom of Naples, Sicily, Lorraine, the Diocese of Liege; many cities in Italy, Germany, Austria, and Belguim; Campen in the Netherlands; Corfu in Greece; Freiburg in Switzerland; and Moscow in Russia. He is patron of mariners, merchants, bakers, travellers, chilcren etc. His representations in art are as various as his alleged miracles. In Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands they have the custom of making him thke secret purveyor of gifts to children on December 6, the day which the Church celebrates his feast; in the United States and some other countries St. Nicholas has become identified with the popular Santa Claus who distributes gifts to children on Christmas eve. His relics are still preserved in the church of San Nicola in Bari; up to the present day an oily substance, know as Manna di S. Nicola, which is highly valued for its medicinal powers, is said to flow from the M. THE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA - 1912
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VIII SAINT PASCHAL BAYLON
He Defended the Dogma of the Real Presence Against the Blasphemies of a Calvinist Preacher
Paschal Baylon, Saint, born at Torre-Hermosa, in the kingdom of Aragon, May 24, 1540, on the Feast of Pentecost, called in Spain "the Pasch of the Holy Ghost"' whence the name of Paschal; died at Villa Reale, May 15, 1592, on Whitsunday. His parents, Marton Baylon and Elizabeth Jubera, were virtuous peasants. The child began early to display signs of that surprissing devotion towards the Holy Eucharist, which forms the salient feature of his character. From his seventh to his twentyfourth year, he led the life of a shkepherd, and during the whole of that period exercised a salutasry influence upon his companions. He was the received as a lay-brother amongst the Franciscan friars of the Alcantasrine Reform. In the cloister, Pachal's life of contemplating and self-sacrifice the promise of his early years. His charity to the poor and afflicted, and his unfailing courtesy were remarkable. On one occasion, in the course of a journey through France, he triumphantly defended the Dogma of the Real Presence against the blasphemies of a Calvinist preacher, in consequence, narrowly escaped death at the hands of a Huguenot mob. Although poorly educated hkis cousel was soght for by people of every station in life, and he was on terms of closest friendship with personages of element sancity. Pascal was beatified in 1618, and cannonized in 1690. His cultus has foourished particularly in his native land and in Southern Italy and Central America, through Spanish conquest. In his Apostolic letter, Providentissimus Deus, Leo XIII declared St. Paschal the especial heavenly protector of ll Eucharistic Congresses and Associations. His feast is kept may17. The saint usually depicted in adoration before a vision of a Host.
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Helper in Desperate Cases
"But you, my beloved, building yourselves upon your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto life everlasting." —Jude 1:20-21
"Amen, amen I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do." —John 14:12
"Then calling together the twelve apostles, he gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick." —Luke 9:1-2
"And he sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither he himself was to come. And he said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send labourers into his harvest." —Luke 10:1-2
Devotion to the holy Apostles should be cherished because they were the first teachers of our Faith. During the Middle Ages the Apostles were held in high veneration, but in our materialistic age, this devotion has greatly declined, though veneration of St. Jude Thaddeus has been revived in recent years. St. Jude is called the Patron of Hopeless and Desperate Cases, owing to the singular help he has obtained for his clients in grave necessities. This holy Apostle bears the surname "Thaddeus" (meaning "amiable" or "loving"), which distinguishes him from Judas Iscariot, the traitor. Besides the Apostle James the Less, Jude had two other brothers who, together with himself, are called the "brethren" of Jesus, which in Hebrew signifies a near relationship. His father was Cleophas, who was probably a brother of St. Joseph. Because of his fearless confession of the Resurrection of Christ, Cleophas was put to death by the Jews and thus won the crown of martyrdom. The mother of our Apostle was Mary of Cleophas, possibly a cousin of the Blessed Virgin, who with Mary stood by the Cross of Jesus on Calvary. In his boyhood, Jude and his brothers must have been close companions of Jesus. No mention is made of Jude's occupation before his call to the apostolate, but we may judge that he was a farmer, since he belonged to the tribe of Juda, which was devoted to farming. From the time Jude was chosen to be an Apostle, he labored with untiring zeal, particularly for the conversion of the Gentiles.
Cure of the King of Edessa
St. Jude is usually represented wearing a picture of Our Lord on his breast. This custom stems from the following legend:
Abgar, King of Edessa (the modern-day city of Urfa in Turkey), who was afflicted with leprosy, hearing of Our Lord's miracles, sent a messenger begging Jesus to come and cure him. Being unable, at the time, to gratify his request, Our Lord sent word that He would send someone later to cure him. The King, anxious at least to have an image of the great wonder-worker, sent an artist to make a portrait of Him: but the artist, blinded by the splendor of our Saviour's face, was unable to carry out his mission. At this, Our Lord, in loving compassion, pressed a cloth to His face and impressed His features upon it. The artist then carried this to his sovereign, who received it with great joy. When St. Jude went to Edessa after Our Lord's Ascension, he healed Abgar of the frightful disease and, by his eloquent presentation of the truths of the Gospel, converted the King and his whole household, as well as many of his subjects.
Conversion of Barbarians
After firmly establishing the Church in Edessa, St. Jude visited the whole of Mesopotamia, preaching the Gospel and everywhere increasing the number of the faithful. Having returned to Jerusalem for the council of the Apostles, he afterward joined St. Simon in Libya, where the two Apostles spread the light of the Gospel. Then they set out for Persia, where God gave them an abundant harvest. It is impossible to compute the number converted or to describe the change in the manners and customs of that savage people. Before the arrival of the two Apostles, the laws and habits of the Persians were unjust and wicked. The marriage tie was totally disregarded; the dead were thrown into the fields to become the food of wild beasts; and other barbarities prevailed. Taught by the Apostles the noble and generous sentiments of the True Religion, these people soon became the admiration of other Christians. Barbarity was replaced by gentleness, cruelty by Christian charity, impiety by evangelical perfection.
Victory over the Persian Magicians
In Persia, the two Apostles were continually thwarted in their work by two magicians named Zaroes and Arfaxat. By their art and incantations, these magicians tried to uphold the worship of idols. At every step they confronted the Apostles and denounced them as impostors, but the two Saints invariably exposed their tricks and impostures. In the presence of the two holy Apostles, the idols refused to answer their false priests. When the Apostles, in the name of God, commanded the idols to speak, they were forced to acknowledge the Saints as the disciples of the true God. The Saints ordered the demons inhabiting the idols to quit them, which they did, howling with rage and shattering the images. The two Apostles set out for the camp of Baradach, commander-in-chief of the Persian army, where they were met by the same magicians, Zaroes and Arfaxat. The Persians were then preparing to march against an army from India, and Baradach was anxious to know what the outcome of the war would be. "We know you are more powerful than our gods," he said to the Apostles, "for at your approach the idols fell to the ground. After the war is over, we will gladly listen to your teaching. Tell us what the result of this war will be." The Apostles commanded the demons to answer. Questioned by their priests, the idols replied that the war would be long and many would perish. "Fear not, O Prince, your gods lie!" joyfully exclaimed the two Apostles. "Tomorrow, at this same hour, ambassadors will arrive from your enemy to conclude negotiations for peace." On the following day the ambassadors from India arrived at the hour designated by the two Saints, and terms of peace were agreed upon. The Prince, indignant at the false prophecies of the wicked magicians, ordered them to be burned alive, and likewise all who maligned the holy Apostles. But Simon and Jude interceded with the commander, and the punishment was averted. Filled with admiration for the two Apostles, Prince Baradach conducted them to the King of Persia. Here also they performed miracles to frustrate the wicked designs of the same magicians, who had preceded them there.
X PATRON SAINTS
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XI Incorrupt Bodies Of the Saints
"You will not allow your holy one to see corruption" - Ps 15.
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