Author Topic: Fr. Butler's Lives of the Saints (1903): Daily devotional.  (Read 472 times)

Offline Xavier

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Re: Fr. Butler's Lives of the Saints (1903): Daily devotional.
« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2019, 11:53:19 PM »
Feb 4 SAINT ANDREW CORSINI BISHOP AND CONFESSOR.

From his two original lives, written, the one by a disciple, the other by Peter Andrew Castagna, a friar of his Order, one hundred years after his death. See the same compiled in Latin by Francis Venturius bishop of San-Severo, printed at Rome in 1620, in quarto, and abridged by the elegant Jesuit Maffel.

A. D. 1373.

THIS saint at his baptism was called Andrew, from the apostle of that name, on whose festival he was born in Florence, in 1302. The family of the Corsini was then one of the most illustrious of that commonwealth. This child was the fruit of the prayers of his pious parents, who consecrated him by vow to God before his birth. But notwithstanding the care his parents took to instil good principles into him, he spent the first part of his youth in vice and extravagance, in the company of such as were as wicked as himself. His devout mother Peregrina never ceased weeping and praying for his conversion, and one day said to him, with many sighs, in the bitterness of her grief: “I see you are the wolf I saw in my sleep;” giving him to understand, that when with child of him she had dreamed she was brought to bed of a won, which running into a church, was turned into a lamb. She added, that she and her husband had in a particular manner devoted him, while in the womb, to the service of God, under the protection of the blessed Virgin; and that in consequence of his being born not for them, nor for the world, but for God, a very different kind of life from what he led was expected from him. This discourse made so strong an impression on his heart, that he went immediately to the church of the Carmelite friars, and having prayed there for some time with great fervor before the altar of our Lady, he was so touched by God, that he took a resolution upon the spot to return no more to his father’s house, but to embrace the religious state of life professed in that convent. He was readily admitted, in the year 1318, and after a novitiate of a year and some months, during which he eluded the artifices of his worldly companions, and resolutely rejected the solicitations of an uncle who sought to draw him back into the world, he made his solemn profession. He never departed from the first fervor of his conversion. He strenuously labored to subdue his passions by extreme humiliations, obedience even to the last person in the house, by silence and prayer; and his superiors employed him in the meanest offices, often in washing the dishes in the scullery. The progress he made in learning, particularly in the holy scriptures and in divinity, was very great. In the year 1328 he was ordained priest; but to prevent the music and feast which his family had prepared, according to custom, for the day on which he was to say his first mass, he privately withdrew to a little convent seven miles out of town, where he offered, unknown, his first-fruits to God, with wonderful recollection and devotion. After some time employed in preaching at Florence, he was sent to Paris, where he studied three years, and took some degrees. He prosecuted his studies some time at Avignon, with his uncle, cardinal Corsini; and in 1332, returning to Florence, was chosen prior of that convent by a provincial chapter. God honored his extraordinary virtue with the gifts of prophecy and miracles; and the astonishing fruits of his example and zealous preaching made him be looked upon as a second apostle of his country. Among other miracles and conquests of hardened souls, was the conversion of his cousin John Corsini, an infamous gamester; and the miraculous cure of an ulcer in his neck.

The bishop of Fiesoli, a town three miles from Florence, being dead, the chapter unanimously chose our saint to fill up the vacant see. Being informed of their proceedings, he hid himself, and remained so long concealed that the canons, despairing to find him, were going to proceed to a second election; when, by a particular direction of divine providence, he was discovered by a child. Being consecrated bishop in the beginning of the year 1360, he redoubled his former austerities. To his hair-shirt he added an iron girdle. He daily said the seven penitential psalms and the litany of the saints, and gave himself a severe discipline while he recited the litany. His bed was of vine-branches strewed on the floor. All his time was taken up in prayer or in his functions. Holy meditation and reading the scriptures he called his recreation from his labors. He avoided discourse with women as much as possible, and would never listen to flatterers or informers. His tenderness and care of the poor were incredible, and he had a particular regard for the bashful among them, that is, such as were ashamed to make known their distress: these he was diligent in seeking out, and assisted them with all possible secrecy. By an excellent talent for composing differences and dissensions, he never failed to reconcile persons at variance, and to appease all seditions that happened in his time, either at Fiesoli, or at Florence. Urban V., on this account, sent him vested with legatine power to Bologna, where the nobility and people were miserably divided. He happily pacified them, and their union continued during the remainder of his life. He was accustomed every Thursday to wash, with singular charity and humility, the feet of the poor: one excused himself, alleging that his feet were full of ulcers and corruption; the saint insisted upon washing them notwithstanding, and they were immediately healed. In imitation of St. Gregory the Great, he kept a list of the names of all the poor, and furnished them all with allowances. He never dismissed any without an alms, for which purpose he once miraculously multiplied bread. He was taken ill while he was singing high mass on Christmas-night, in the year 1372. His fever increasing, he gave up his happy soul to God with a surprising joy and tranquillity, on the 6th of January, 1373, being seventy-one years and five weeks old, having been twelve years bishop. He was honored with many miracles, and immediately canonized by the voice of the people. The state of Florence has often sensibly experienced his powerful intercession. Pope Eugenius IV. allowed his relics to be exposed to public veneration. He was canonized by Urban VIII. in 1629. His festival was transferred to the 4th of February. Clement XII. being of this family, in conjunction with his nephew, the marquis of Corsini, sumptuously adorned the chapel of the Carmelite friars’ church in Florence, in which the saint’s body is kept. He also built and endowed I magnificent independent chapel in the great church of St. John Lateran, under the name of this his patron, in which the corpse of that pope is interred.

The example of all the saints confirms the fundamental maxim of our divine Redeemer, that the foundation of all solid virtue and of true sanctity, is to be laid by subduing the passions and dying to ourselves. Pride, sensuality, covetousness, and every vice must be rooted out of the heart, the senses must be mortified, the inconstancy of the mind must be settled, and its inclination to roving and dissipation fixed by recollection, and all depraved affections curbed. Both in cloisters and in the world, many Christians take pains to become virtuous by multiplying religious practices, yet lose in a great measure the fruit of their labors, because they never study with their whole hearts to die to themselves. So long as self-love reigns in their souls, almost without control, this will often blind and deceive them, and will easily infect even their good works, and their devotion will be liable to a thousand illusions, and always very imperfect. Hence religious persons, after many years spent in the rigorous observance of their rule, still fail upon the least trial or contradiction which thwarts their favorite inclination, and are stopped in their spiritual progress as it were by every grain of sand in their way: their whole life they crawl like base insects in the mire of their imperfections, whereas if they studied once in good earnest to curb sensuality and to renounce their own lights, their own will, and the inordinate love of themselves, difficulties would disappear before them, and they would in a short time arrive at the perfection of true virtue, and enjoy the liberty of the children of God, and his interior peace, the true road to which is only humility, meekness, and perfect self-denial. Did we know the treasure and happiness which this would procure us, we should, in imitation of the ancient holy monks, desire to meet with superiors who would exercise us by the severest trials, and think ourselves most obliged to those who apply the strongest remedies to purge and cure our sick souls.
Please listen to the frequent messages and take heed of the directions given from Our Living Lord and Our Loving Lady from around the world here: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/ Great things are at stake. Please consecrate your life to the Blessed Mother so that the Kingdom of God may come, "Ad Sanctam Trinitatem per Mariam, Ut adveniat Regnum Deum, adveniat Regnum Mariae, ergo TOTUS TUUS ego sum, MARIA" See http://www.maria-domina-animarum.net/en/flowers/1-250

Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For all the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for Priests, Nuns and Monks, for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/ It is recommended that you make this Life Offering as soon as you feel ready, and to renew it from time to time. Please do.

Please read the Blessed Mother's amazing promises in the link: A simple effective way for thousands of us to save millions of souls. The Doctors and Apostles say if we save even just one other soul through prayer and sacrifice, we also ensure the salvation of our own. Let us all Offer all our Life to Jesus and Mary Today.
 

Offline Xavier

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Re: Fr. Butler's Lives of the Saints (1903): Daily devotional.
« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2019, 11:55:09 PM »
Feb 5 ST. AGATHA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

We have her panegyrics by St. Aidhelm, In the seventh, and St. Methodius, patriarch of Constantinople, in the ninth, centuries: also a hymn in her honor among the poems of pope Damasus, and another by St. Isidore of Seville, in Bollandus. p. 596. The Greeks have interpolated her acts. but those in Latin are very ancient. They are abridged by Tillemont, t. 3, p. 409. See also Rocci Pyrrho, in Sicilia Sacra on Palermo, Catana, and Malta.

A. D. 251.

THE cities of Palermo and Catana, in Sicily, dispute the honor of her birth: but they do much better who, by copying her virtues, and claiming her patronage, strive to become her fellow-citizens in heaven. It is agreed that she received the crown of martyrdom at Catana, in the persecution of Decius, in the third consulship of that prince, in the year of our Lord 251. She was of a rich and illustrious family, and having been consecrated to God from her tender years, triumphed over many assaults upon her chaslity. Quintianus, a man of consular dignity, bent on gratifying both his lust and avarice, imagined he should easily compass his wicked designs on Agatha’s person and estate, by means of the emperor’s edict against the Christians. He therefore caused her to be apprehended and brought before him at Catana. Seeing herself in the hands of the persecutors, she made this prayer: “Jesus Christ, Lord of all things, you see my heart you know my desire: possess alone all that I am. I am your sheep, make me worthy to overcome the devil.” She wept, and prayed for courage and strength all the way she went. On her appearance, Quintianus gave orders for her being put into the hands of Aphrodisia, a most wicked woman, who with six daughters, all prostitutes, kept a common stew. The saint suffered in this infamous place, assaults and stratagems against her virtue, infinitely more terrible to her than any tortures or death itself. But placing her confidence in God, she never ceased with sighs and most earnest tears to implore his protection, and by it was an overmatch for all their hellish attempts, the whole month she was there. Quintianus being informed of her constancy after thirty days, ordered her to be brought before him. The virgin, in her first interrogatory, told him, that to be a servant of Jesus Christ was the most illustrious nobility, and true liberty. The judge, offended at her resolute answers, commanded her to be buffeted, and led to prison. She entered it with great joy, recommending her future conflict to God. The next day she was arraigned a second time at the tribunal, and answered with equal constancy that Jesus Christ was her life and her salvation. Quintianus then ordered her to be stretched on the rack, which torment was usually accompanied with stripes, the tearing of the sides with iron hooks, and burning them with torches or matches. The governor, enraged to see her suffer all this with cheerfulness, commanded her breast to be tortured, and afterwards to be cut off. At which she made him this reproach: “Cruel tyrant, do you not blush to torture this part of my body, you that sucked the breasts of a woman yourself?” He remanded her to prison with a severe order, that neither salves nor food should be allowed her. But God would be himself her physician, and the apostle St. Peter in a vision comforted her, healed all her wounds, and filled her dungeon with a heavenly light Quintianus, four days after, not the least moved at the miraculous cure of her wounds, caused her to be rolled naked over live coals mixed with broken potsherds. Being carried back to prison, she made this prayer: “Lord, my Creator, you have ever protected me from the cradle. You have taken from me the love of the world, and given me patience to suffer: receive now my soul.” After which words she sweetly gave up the ghost. Her name is inserted in the canon of the mass, in the calendar of Carthage, as ancient as the year 530, and in all martyrologies of the Latins and Greeks. Pope Symmachus built a church in Rome on the Aurelian way, under her name, about the year 500, which is fallen to decay.[1] St. Gregory the Great enriched a church which he purged from the Arian impiety, with her relics,[2] which it still possesses. This church had been rebuilt in her honor by Ricimer, general of the western empire, in 460. Gregory II. built another famous church at Rome, under her invocation, in 726, which Clement VIII. gave to the congregation of the Christian doctrine. St. Gregory the Great[3] ordered some of her relics to be placed in the church of the monastery of St. Stephen, in the Isle of Capreæ, now Capri. The chief part, which remained at Catana, was carried to Constantinople by the Greek general, who drove the Saracens out of Sicily about the year 1040: these were brought back to Catana in 1127, a relation of which translation, written by Mauritius, who was then bishop, is recorded by Rocci Pyrrho, and Bollandus.[4] The same authors relate in what manner the torrent of burning sulphur and stones which issue from mount Ætna, in great eruptions, was several times averted from the walls of Catana by the veil of St. Agatha, (taken out of her tomb,) which was carried in procession. Also that through her intercession, Malta (where she is honored as patroness of the island) was preserved from the Turks who invaded it in 1551. Small portions of relics cf St. Agatha are said to be distributed in many places.

The perfect purity of intention by which St. Agatha was entirely dead to the world and herself, and sought only to please God, is the circumstance which sanctified her sufferings, and rendered her sacrifice complete. The least cross which we bear, the least action which we perform in this disposition, will be a great holocaust, and a most acceptable offering. We have frequently something to suffer—sometimes an aching pain in the body, at other times some trouble of mind, often some disappointment, some humbling rebuke, or reproach, or the like. If we only bear these trials with patience when others are witnesses, or if we often speak of them, or are fretful under them, or if we bear patiently public affronts or great trials, yet sink-under those which are trifling, and are sensible to small or secret injuries, it is evident that we have not attained to true purity of intention in our patience; that we are not dead to ourselves, and love not to disappear to the eyes of creatures, but court them, and take a secret complacency in things which appear great. We profess ourselves ready to die for Christ; yet cannot bear the least cross or humiliation. How agreeable to our divine spouse is the sacrifice of a soul which suffers in silence, desiring to have no other witness of her patience than God alone, who sends her trials; which shuns superiority and honors, but takes all care possible that no one knows the humility or modesty of such a refusal; which suffers humiliations, and seeks no comfort or reward but from God. This simplicity and purity of heart; this love of being hid in God, through Jesus Christ, is the perfection of all our sacrifices, and the complete victory over self-love, which it attacks and forces out of its strongest intrenchments: this says to Christ, with St Agatha, “Possess alone all that I am”
Please listen to the frequent messages and take heed of the directions given from Our Living Lord and Our Loving Lady from around the world here: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/ Great things are at stake. Please consecrate your life to the Blessed Mother so that the Kingdom of God may come, "Ad Sanctam Trinitatem per Mariam, Ut adveniat Regnum Deum, adveniat Regnum Mariae, ergo TOTUS TUUS ego sum, MARIA" See http://www.maria-domina-animarum.net/en/flowers/1-250

Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For all the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for Priests, Nuns and Monks, for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/ It is recommended that you make this Life Offering as soon as you feel ready, and to renew it from time to time. Please do.

Please read the Blessed Mother's amazing promises in the link: A simple effective way for thousands of us to save millions of souls. The Doctors and Apostles say if we save even just one other soul through prayer and sacrifice, we also ensure the salvation of our own. Let us all Offer all our Life to Jesus and Mary Today.
 

Offline Xavier

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Re: Fr. Butler's Lives of the Saints (1903): Daily devotional.
« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2019, 07:04:05 AM »
Feb 6 ST. DOROTHY, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

See S. Aidhelm, Ado, Usuard, &c., in Bollandus, p. 771.

ST. ALDHELM relates from her acts,[1] that Fabritius, the governor of Cæsarea, in Cappadocia, inflicted on her most cruel torments, because she refused to marry, or to adore idols: that she converted two apostate women sent to seduce her: and that being condemned to be beheaded, she converted one Theophilus, by sending him certain fruits and flowers miraculously obtained of her heavenly spouse. She seems to have suffered under Dioclesian. Her body is kept in the celebrated church which bears her name, beyond the Tiber, in Rome. She is mentioned on this day in the ancient Martyrology under the name of St. Jerom. There was another holy virgin, whom Rutin calls Dorothy, a rich and noble lady of the city of Alexandria, who suffered torments and a voluntary banishment, to preserve her faith and chastity against the brutish lust and tyranny of the emperor Maximi-nus, in the year 308, as is recorded by Eusebius[2] and Rufinus:[3] but many take this latter, whose name is not mentioned by Eusebius, to be the famous St. Catharine of Alexandria.

The blood of the martyrs flourished in its hundred-fold increase, as St. Justin has well observed: “We are slain with the sword, but we increase and multiply: the more we are persecuted and destroyed, the more are added to our numbers. As a vine, by being pruned and cut close, shoots forth new suckers, and bears a greater abundance of fruit; so is it with us.[4] Among other false reflections, the baron of Montesquieu, an author too much admired by many, writes:[5] “It is hardly possible that Christianity should ever be established in China. Vows of virginity, the assembling of women in the churches, their necessary intercourse with the ministers of religion, their participation of the sacraments, auricular confession, the marrying but one wife; all this oversets the manners and customs, and strikes at the religion and laws of the country.” Could he forget that the gospel overcame all these impediments where it was first established, in spite of the most inveterate prejudices, and of all worldly opposition from the great and the learned; whereas philosophy, though patronized by princes, could never in any age introduce its rules even into one city. In vain did the philosopher Plotinus solicit the emperor Gallienus to rebuild a ruined city in Campania, that he and his disciples might establish in it the republic of Plato: a system, in some points, flattering the passions of men, almost as Mahometism fell in with the prejudices and passions of the nations where it prevailed. So visibly is the church the work of God.
Please listen to the frequent messages and take heed of the directions given from Our Living Lord and Our Loving Lady from around the world here: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/ Great things are at stake. Please consecrate your life to the Blessed Mother so that the Kingdom of God may come, "Ad Sanctam Trinitatem per Mariam, Ut adveniat Regnum Deum, adveniat Regnum Mariae, ergo TOTUS TUUS ego sum, MARIA" See http://www.maria-domina-animarum.net/en/flowers/1-250

Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For all the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for Priests, Nuns and Monks, for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/ It is recommended that you make this Life Offering as soon as you feel ready, and to renew it from time to time. Please do.

Please read the Blessed Mother's amazing promises in the link: A simple effective way for thousands of us to save millions of souls. The Doctors and Apostles say if we save even just one other soul through prayer and sacrifice, we also ensure the salvation of our own. Let us all Offer all our Life to Jesus and Mary Today.
 

Offline Xavier

  • "Deign to use us to accomplish what was said of You, O Immaculata, "She will crush your head," and, "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the world."
  • St. Joseph's Workbench
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Re: Fr. Butler's Lives of the Saints (1903): Daily devotional.
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2019, 07:05:19 AM »
Feb 7 ST. ROMUALD, ABBOT, C. FOUNDER OF THE ORDER OF CAMALDOLI.

From his life, written by St. Peter Damian. fifteen years after his death. See also Mugnotii, Eremi Camaldul. descriptio, Romæ, an. 1570. Historiarum Camaldulensium, libri 3. auth. Aug. Florentino, in 4to. Florentiæ, 1575 Earumdem pars posterior, in 4to. Venetiis, 1579. Dissertationes Camaldulenses, in qnibus agitur de institutione Ordinis, ætate St. Romualdi, &c. auth. Guidone Grando, ej. Ord. Lucæ, 1707. The Lives of the Saints of this Order, in Italian, by Razzi, 1600, and in Latin, by F. Thomas de Minis, in two vols, in 4to. an. 1605, 1606. Annales Camaldulenses Ordinis St. Benedicti, auctoribus Jo. Ben. Mittarelli. abbate, et Ans. Costadoni, presbyteris et monachis è Cong. Camald. Venetiis, in four vols fol., of which the fourth is dedicated to pope Clement XIII., in 1760.

A. D. 1027.

ST. ROMUALD, of the family of the dukes of Ravenna, called Honesti, was born in that capital about the year 956. Being brought up in the maxims of the world, in softness and the love of pleasure, he grew every day more and more enslaved to his passions: yet he often made a resolution of undertaking something remarkable for the honor of God; and when he went a hunting, if he found an agreeable solitary place in the woods, he would stop in it to pray, and would cry out: “How happy were the ancient hermits, who had such habitations! With what tranquillity could they serve God, free from the tumult of the world!” His father, whose name was Sergius, a worldly man, agreed to decide a dispute he had with a relation about an estate by a duel. Romuald was shocked at the criminal design; but by threats of being disinherited if he refused, was engaged by his father to be present as a spectator: Sergius slew his adversary. Romuald, then twenty years of age, struck with horror at the crime that had been perpetrated, though he had concurred to it no further than by his presence, thought himself, however, obliged to expiate it by a severe course of penance for forty days in the neighboring Benedictine monastery of Classis, within four miles of Ravenna, He performed great austerities, and prayed and wept almost without intermission. His compunction and fervor made all these exercises seem easy and sweet to him: and the young nobleman became every day more and more penetrated with the fear and love of God. The good example which he saw, and the discourses of a pious lay-brother, who waited on him, concerning eternity and the contempt of the world, wrought so powerfully upon him, that he petitioned in full chapter to be admitted as a penitent to the religious habit. After some demurs, through their apprehensions of his father’s resentment, whose next heir the saint was, his request was granted. He passed seven years in this house in so great fervor and austerity, that his example became odious to certain tepid monks, who could not bear such a continual reproach of their sloth. They were more exasperated when his fervor prompted him to reprove their conduct, insomuch, that some of the most abandoned formed a design upon his life, the execution of which he prevented by leaving that monastery, with the abbot’s consent, and retiring into the neighborhood of Venice, where he put himself under the direction of Marinus. a holy hermit, who there led an austere ascetic life. Under this master, Romuald made great progress in every virtue belonging to a religious state of life,

Peter Urseoli was then doge of Venice. He had been unjustly raised to that dignity two years before by a faction which had assassinated his predecessor Peter Candiano; in which conspiracy he is said by some to have been an accomplice: though this is denied by the best Venetian historians.* This murder, however, paved the way for his advancement to the sovereignty, which the stings of his conscience would not suffer him quietly to enjoy. This put him upon consulting St. Guarinus, a holy abbot of Catalonia, then at Venice, about what he was to do to be saved. The advice of St. Marinus and St. Romuald was also desired. These three unanimously agreed in proposing a monastic state, as affording the best opportunities for expiating his crimes. Urseoli acquiesced, and, under pretence of joining with his family at their villa, where he had ordered a great entertainment, set out privately with St. Guarinus, St Romuald, and John Gradenigo, a Venetian nobleman of singular piety, and his son-in-law John Moresini, for St. Guarinus’s monastery of St. Michael of Cusan, in that part of Catalonia which was then subject to France. Here Urseoli and Gradenigo made their monastic profession: Marinus and Romuald, leaving them under the conduct of Guarinus, retired into a desert near Cusan, and there led an eremitical life. Many flocked to them, and Romuald being made, superior, first practised himself what he taught others, joining rigorous fasts, solitude, and continual prayer, with hard manual labor. He had an extraordinary ardor for prayer, which he exceedingly recommended to his disciples, in whom he could not bear to see the least sloth or tepidity with regard to the discharge of this duty; saying, they had better recite one psalm with fervor, than a hundred with less devotion. His own fasts and mortifications were extremely rigorous, but he was more indulgent to others, and in particular to Urseoli, who had exchanged his monastery for St. Romuald’s desert, where he lived under his conduct; who, persevering in his penitential state, made a most holy end, and is honored in Venice as a saint, with an office, on the 14th of January: and in the Roman Martyrology, published by Benedict XIV., on the 10th of that month.

Romuald, in the beginning of his conversion and retreat from the world, was molested with various temptations. The devil sometimes directly solicited him to vice; at other times he represented to him what he had forsaken, and that he had left it to ungrateful relations. He would sometimes suggest that what he did could not be agreeable to God; at other times, that his labors and difficulties were too heavy for man to bear. These and the like attempts of the devil he defeated by watching and prayer, in which he passed the whole night; and the devil strove in vain to divert him from this holy exercise by shaking his whole cell, and threatening to bury him in the ruins. Five years of grievous interior conflicts and buffetings of the enemy, wrought in him a great purity of heart, and prepared him for most extraordinary heavenly communications. The conversion of count Oliver, or Oliban, lord of that territory, added to his spiritual joy. That count, from a voluptuous worldling, and profligate liver, became a sincere penitent, and embraced the order of St. Benedict. He carried great treasures with him to mount Cassino, but left his estate to his son. The example of Romuald had also such an influence on Sergius, his father, that, to make atonement for his past sins and enormities, he had entered the monastery of St. Severus, near Ravenna; but after some time spent there, he yielded so far to the devil’s temptations, as to meditate a return into the world. This was a sore affliction to our saint, and determined him to return to Italy, to dissuade his father from leaving his monastery. But the inhabitants of the country where he lived, had such an opinion of his sanctity, that they were resolved not to let him go. They therefore formed a brutish extravagant design to kill him, that they might keep at least his body among them, imagining it would be their protection and safeguard on perilous occasions. The saint being informed of their design, had recourse to David’s stratagem, and feigned himself mad: upon which the people, losing their high opinion of him, guarded him no longer. Being thus at liberty to execute his design, he set out on his journey to Ravenna, through the south of France. He arrived there in 994, and made use of all the authority his superiority in religion gave him over his father; and by his exhortations, tears, and prayers, brought him to such an extraordinary degree of compunction and sorrow, as to prevail with him to lay aside all thoughts of leaving his monastery, where he spent the remainder of his days in great fervor, and died with the reputation of sanctity.

Romuald, having acquitted himself of his duty towards his father, retired into the marsh of Classis, and lived in a cell, remote from all mankind. The devil pursued him here with his former malice; he sometimes overwhelmed his imagination with melancholy, and once scourged him cruelly in his cell. Romuald at length cried out: “Sweetest Jesus, dearest Jesus, why hast thou forsaken me? hast thou entirely delivered me over to my enemies?” At that sweet name the wicked spirits betook themselves to flight, and such an excess of divine sweetness and compunction filled the breast of Romuald, that he melted into tears, and his heart seemed quite dissolved. He sometimes insulted his spiritual enemies, and cried out: “Art all your forces spent? have you no more engines against a poor despicable servant of God?” Not long after, the monks of Classis chose Romuald for their abbot. The emperor, Otho III. who was then at Ravenna, made use of his authority to engage the saint to accept the charge, and went in person to visit him in his cell, where he passed the night lying on the saint’s poor bed. But nothing could make Romuald consent, till a synod of bishops then assembled at Ravenna, compelled him to it by threats of excommunication. The saint’s inflexible zeal for the punctual observance of monastic discipline, soon made these monks repent of their choice, which they manifested by their irregular and mutinous behavior. The saint being of a mild disposition, bore with it for some time, in hopes of bringing them to a right sense of their duty. At length, finding all his endeavors to reform them ineffectual, he came to a resolution of leaving them, and went to the emperor, then besieging Tivoli. to acquaint him of it; whom, when he could not prevail upon to accept of his resignation, the saint, in the presence of the archbishop of Ravenna, threw down his crosier at his feet. This interview proved very happy for Tivoli; for the emperor, though he had condemned that city to plunder, the inhabitants having rebelled and killed duke Matholin, their governor, spared it at the intercession of St. Romuald. Otho having also, contrary to his solemn promise upon oath, put one Crescentius, a Roman senator, to death, who had been the leader in the rebellion of Tivoli, and made his widow his concubine; he not only performed a severe public penance enjoined him by the saint, as his confessor, but promised, by St Romuald’s advice, to abdicate his crown and retire into a convent during life; but this he did not live to perform. The saint’s remonstrances had a like salutary effect on Thamn, the emperor’s favorite, prime minister and accomplice in the treachery before mentioned, who, with several other courtiers, received the religious habit at the hands of St. Romuald, and spent the remainder of his days in retirement and penance. It was a very edifying sight to behold several young princes and noblemen, who a little before had been remarkable for their splendid appearance and sumptuous living, now leading an obscure, solitary, penitential life in humility, penance, fasting, cold, and labor. They prayed, sung psalms, and worked. They all had their several employments: some spun, others knit, others tilled the ground, gaining their poor livelihood by the sweat of their brow. St. Boniface surpassed all the rest in fervor and mortification. He was the emperor’s near relation, and so dear to him, that he never called him by any other name than, My soul! He excelled in music, and in all the liberal arts and sciences, and after having spent many years under the discipline of St. Romuald, was ordained bishop, and commissioned by the pope to preach to the infidels of Russia, whose king he converted by his miracles, but was beheaded by the king’s brothers, who were themselves afterwards converted on seeing the miracles wrought on occasion of the martyr’s death. Several other monks of St. Romuald’s monastery met with the same cruel treatment in Sclavonia, whither they were sent by the pope to preach the gospel.

St. Romuald built many other monasteries, and continued three years at one he founded near Parenzo, one year in the community to settle it, and two in a neighboring cell. Here he labored some time under a spiritual dryness, not being able to shed one tear; but he ceased not to continue his devotions with greater fervor. At last being in his cell, at those words of the psalmist; I will give thee understanding, and will instruct thee, he was suddenly visited by God with an extraordinary light and spirit of compunction which from that time never left him. By a supernatural light, the fruit of prayer, he understood the holy scriptures, and wrote an exposition of the psalms full of admirable unction. He often foretold things to come, and gave directions full of heavenly wisdom to all who came to consult him, especially to his religious, who frequently came to ask his advice how to advance in virtue, and how to resist temptations; he always sent them back to their cells full of an extraordinary cheerfulness. Through his continual weeping he thought others had a like gift, and often said to his monks: “Do not weep too much; for it prejudices the sight and the head.” It was his desire, whenever he could conveniently avoid it, not to say mass before a number of people, because he could not refrain from tears in offering that august sacrifice. The contemplation of the Divinity often transported him out of himself; melting in tears, and burning with love, he would cry out: “Dear Jesus! my dear Jesus! my unspeakable desire! my joy! joy of the angels! sweetness of the saints!” and the like, which he was heard to speak with a jubilation which cannot be expressed. To propagate the honor of God, he resolved, by the advice of the bishop of Pola and others, to exchange his remote desert, for one where he could better advance his holy institute. The bishop of Parenzo forbade any boat to carry him off, desiring earnestly to detain him; but the bishop of Pola sent one to fetch him. He miraculously calmed a storm at sea, and landed safe at Capreola. Coming to Bifurcum, he found the monks’ cells too magnificent, and would lodge in none but that of one Peter, a man of extraordinary austerity, who never would live in a cell larger than four cubits. This Peter admired the saint’s spirit of compunction, and said, that when he recited the psalms alternately with him, the holy man used to go out thirty times in a night as if for some necessity, but he saw it was to abandon himself a few moments to spiritual consolation, with which he overflowed at prayer, or to sighs and tears which he was not able to contain. Romuald sent to the counts of the province of Marino, to beg a little ground whereon to build a monastery. They hearing Romuald’s name, offered him with joy whatever mountains, woods, or fields he would choose among them. He found the valley of Castro most proper. Exceeding great was the fruit of the blessed man’s endeavors, and many put themselves with great fervor under his direction. Sinners, who did not forsake the world entirely, were by him in great multitudes moved to penance, and to distribute great part of their possessions liberally among the poor. The holy man seemed in the midst of them as a seraph incarnate, burning with heavenly ardors of divine love, and inflaming those who heard him speak. If he travelled, he rode or walked at a distance behind his brethren, reciting psalms, and watering his cheeks almost without ceasing with tears that flowed in great abundance.

The saint had always burned with an ardent desire of martyrdom, which was much increased by the glorious crowns of some of his disciples, especially of St. Boniface. At last, not able to contain the ardor of his charity and desire to give his life for his Redeemer, he obtained the pope’s license, and set out to preach the gospel in Hungary, in which mission some of his disciples accompanied him. He had procured two of them to be consecrated archbishops by the pope, declining himself the episcopal dignity; but a violent illness which seized him on his entering Hungary, and returned as often as he attempted to proceed on his intended design, was a plain indication of the will of God in this matter; so he returned home with seven of his associates. The rest, with the two archbishops, went forward, and preached the faith under the holy king, St. Stephen, suffering much for Christ, but none obtained the crown of martyrdom. Romuald in his return built some monasteries in Germany, and labored to reform others; but this drew on him many persecutions. Yet all, even the great ones of the world, trembled in his presence. He refused, to accept either water or wood, without paying for it, from Raynerius, marquis of Tuscia, because that prince had married the wife of a relation whom he had killed. Raynerius, though a sovereign, used to say, that neither the emperor nor any mortal on earth could strike him with so much awe as Romuald’s presence did. So powerful was the impression which the Holy Ghost, dwelling in his breast, made on the most haughty sinners. Hearing that a certain Venetian had by simony obtained the abbey of Classis, he hastened thither. The unworthy abbot strove to kill him, to preserve his unjust dignity. He often met with the like plots and assaults from several of his own disciples, which procured him the repeated merit, though not the crown, of martyrdom. The pope having called him to Rome, he wrought there several miracles, built some monasteries in its neighborhood, and converted innumerable souls to God. Returning from Rome, he made a long stay at Mount Sitria. A young nobleman addicted to impurity, being exasperated at the saint’s severe remonstrances, had the impudence to accuse him of a scandalous crime. The monks, by a surprising levity, believed the calumny, enjoined him a most severe penance, forbid him to say mass and excommunicated him. He bore all with patience and in silence, as if really he had been guilty, and refrained from going to the altar for six months. In the seventh month he was admonished by God to obey no longer so unjust and irregular a sentence pronounced without any authority and without grounds. He accordingly said mass again, and with such raptures of devotion, as obliged him to continue long absorbed in ecstasy. He passed seven years in Sitria, in his cell, in strict silence, but his example did the office of his tongue and moved many to penance. In his old age, instead of relaxing, he increased his austerities and fasts. He had three hair-shirts which he now and then changed. He never would admit of the least thing to give a savor to the herbs or meal-gruel on which he supported himself. If any thing was brought him better dressed, he, for the greater self-denial, applied it to his nostrils, and said: “O gluttony, gluttony, thou shalt never taste this; perpetual war is declared against thee.” His disciples also were remarkable for their austere lives, went always barefoot, and looked excessive pale with continual fasting. No other drink was known among them but water, except in sickness. St. Romuald wrought in this place many miraculous cures of the sick. At last, having settled his disciples here in a monastery which he had built for them, he departed for Bifurcum.

The holy emperor St. Henry II., who had succeeded Otho III., coming into Italy, and being desirous to see the saint, sent an honorable embassy to him to induce him to come to court. At the earnest request of his disciples he complied, but not without great reluctance on his side. The emperor received him with the greatest marks of honor and esteem, and rising out of his chair, said to him: “I wish my soul was like yours.” The saint observed a strict silence the whole time the interview lasted, to the great astonishment of the court. The emperor being convinced that this did not proceed from pride or disdain, but from humility and a desire of being despised, was so far from being offended at it, that it occasioned his conceiving a higher esteem and veneration for him. The next day he received from him wholesome advice in his closet. The German noblemen showed him the greatest respect as he passed through the court, and plucked the very hairs out of his garments for relics, at which he was so much grieved, that he would have immediately gom back if he had not been stopped. The emperor gave him a monastery on Mount Amiatus.

The most famous of all his monasteries is that of Camaldoli. near Arezzo, in Tuscany, on the frontiers of the ecclesiastical state, thirty miles east from Florence, founded by him about the year 1009. It lies beyond a mountain, very difficult to pass over, the descent from which, on the opposite side is almost a direct precipice looking down upon a pleasant large valley, which then belonged to a lord called Maldoli, who gave it the saint, and from him it retained the name Camaldoli.[1] In this place St. Romuald built a monastery, and by the several observances he added to St. Benedict’s rule, gave birth to that new order called Camaldoli, in which he united the cenobitic and eremitical life. After seeing in a vision his monks mounting up a ladder to heaven all in white, he changed their habit from black to white. The hermitage is two short miles distant from the monastery. It is a mountain quite overshaded by a dark wood of fir-trees. In it are seven clear springs of water. The very sight of this solitude in the midst of the forest helps to fill the mind with compunction, and a love of heavenly contemplation. On entering it, we meet with a chapel of St. Antony for travellers to pray in before they advance any further. Next are the cells and lodgings for the porters. Somewhat further is the church, which is large, well built, and richly adorned. Over the door is a clock, which strikes so loud that it may be heard all over the desert. On the left side of the church is the cell in which St. Romuald lived, when he first established these hermits. Their cells, built of stone, have each a little garden walled round. A constant fire is allowed to be kept in every cell, on account of the coldness of the air throughout the year: each cell has also a chapel in which they may say mass: they call their superior, major. The whole hermitage is now enclosed with a wall: none are allowed to go out of it; but they may walk in the woods and alleys within the enclosure at discretion. Every thing is sent them from the monastery in the valley: their food is every day brought to each cell; and all are supplied with wood and necessaries, that they may have no dissipation or hinderance in their contemplation. Many hours of the day are allotted to particular exercises; and no rain or snow stops any one from meeting in the church to assist at the divine office. They are obliged to strict silence in all public common places; and everywhere during their Lents, also on Sundays, Holydays, Fridays, and other days of abstinence, and always from Complin till prime the next day.

For a severer solitude, St. Romuald added a third kind of life; that of a recluse. After a holy life in the hermitage, the superior grants leave to any that ask it, and seem called by God, to live forever shut up in their cells, never speaking to any one but to the superior when he visits them, and to the brother who brings them necessaries. Their prayers and austerities are doubled, and their fasts more severe and more frequent. St. Romuald condemned himself to this kind of life for several years; and fervent imitators have never since failed in this solitude.

St. Romuald died in his monastery in the valley of Castro, in the marquisate of Ancona. As he was born about the year 956, he must have died seventy years and some months old, not a hundred and twenty, as the present copies of his life have it. The day of his death was the 19th of June; but his principal feast is appointed by Clement VIII. on the 7th of February, the day of his translation. His body was found entire and uncorrupt five years after his death, and again in 1466. But his tomb being sacrilegiously opened, and his body stolen in 1480, it fell to dust, in which state it was translated to Fabriano, and there deposited in the great church, all but the remains of one arm, sent to Camaldoli. God has honored his relics with many miracles. The order of Camaldoli is now divided into five congregations, under so many generals or majors. The life of the hermits is very severe, though something mitigated since the time of St. Romuald. The Cenobitos are more like Benedictines, and perhaps were not directly established by St. Romuald, says F. Helyot.

If we are not called to practise the extraordinary austerities of many saints, we cannot but confess that we lie under an indispensable necessity of leading mortified lives, both in order to fulfil our obligation of doing penance, and to subdue our passions and keep our senses and interior faculties under due command. The appetites of the body are only to be reduced by universal temperance, and assiduous mortification and watchfulness over all the senses. The interior powers of the soul must be restrained, as the imagination, memory, and understanding: their proneness to distraction, and the itching curiosity of the mind, must be curbed, and their repugnance to at end to spiritual things corrected by habits of recollection, holy meditation, and prayer. Above all, the will must be rendered supple and pliant by frequent self-denial, which must reach and keep in subjection all its most trifling sallies and inclinations. If any of these, how insignificant soever they may seem, are not restrained and vanquished, they will prove sufficient often to disturb the quiet of the mind, and betray one into considerable inconveniences, faults, and follies. Great weaknesses are sometimes fed by temptations which seem almost of too little moment to deserve notice. And though these infirmities should not arise to any great height, they always fetter the soul, and are an absolute impediment to her progress towards perfection.
Please listen to the frequent messages and take heed of the directions given from Our Living Lord and Our Loving Lady from around the world here: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/ Great things are at stake. Please consecrate your life to the Blessed Mother so that the Kingdom of God may come, "Ad Sanctam Trinitatem per Mariam, Ut adveniat Regnum Deum, adveniat Regnum Mariae, ergo TOTUS TUUS ego sum, MARIA" See http://www.maria-domina-animarum.net/en/flowers/1-250

Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For all the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for Priests, Nuns and Monks, for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/ It is recommended that you make this Life Offering as soon as you feel ready, and to renew it from time to time. Please do.

Please read the Blessed Mother's amazing promises in the link: A simple effective way for thousands of us to save millions of souls. The Doctors and Apostles say if we save even just one other soul through prayer and sacrifice, we also ensure the salvation of our own. Let us all Offer all our Life to Jesus and Mary Today.
 

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Re: Fr. Butler's Lives of the Saints (1903): Daily devotional.
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Feb 8 ST. JOHN OF MATHA FOUNDER OF THE ORDER OF THE TRINITARIANS

From several bulls of Innocent III. and the many authors of his life, especially that complled by Robert Gaguin. the learned general of this Order, in 1490, collected by Baillet, and the Hist, des Ordres Rellg. by F. Helyot. See also Annales Ordinis SS. Trinitatis, auctore Bon. Baro, Ord. Minor. Romæ. 1684, and Regula et Statuta Ord. SS. Trinitatls, in 12mo. 1570.

A. D. 1213.

ST. JOHN was born of very pious and noble parents, at Faucon, on the borders of Provence, June the 24th, 1169, and was baptized John, in honor of St. John the Baptist. His mother dedicated him to God by a vow from his infancy. His father, Euphemius, sent him to Aix, where he learned grammar, fencing, riding, and other exercises fit for a young nobleman. But his chief attention was to advance in virtue. He gave the poor a considerable part of the money his parents sent him for his own use: he visited the hospital every Friday, assisting the poor sick, dressing and cleansing their sores, and affording them all the comfort in his power.

Being returned home, he begged his father’s leave to continue the pious exercises he had begun, and retired to a little hermitage not far from Faucon, with the view of living at a distance from the world, and united to God alone by mortification and prayer. But finding his solitude interrupted by the frequent visits of his friends, he desired his father’s consent to go to Paris to study divinity, which he easily obtained. He went through these more sublime studies with extraordinary success, and proceeded doctor of divinity with uncommon applause, though his modesty gave him a reluctancy to that honor. He was soon after ordained priest, and said his first mass in the bishop of Paris’s chapel, at which the bishop himself, Maurice de Sully, the abbots of St. Victor and of St. Genevieve, and the rector of the university, assisted; admiring the graces of heaven in him, which appeared in his extraordinary devotion on this occasion, as well as at his ordination.

On the day he said his first mass, by a particular inspiration from God he came to a resolution of devoting himself to the occupation of ransoming Christian slaves from the captivity they groaned under among the infidels: considering it as one of the highest acts of charity with respect both to their souls and bodies. But before he entered upon so important a work, he thought it needful to spend some time in retirement, prayer, and mortification. And having heard of a holy hermit, St. Felix Valois, living in a great wood near Gandelu, in the diocese of Meux, he repaired to him and begged he would admit him into his solitude, and instruct him in the practice of perfection. Felix soon discovered him to be no novice, and would not treat him as a disciple, but as a companion. It is incredible what progress these two holy solitaries made in the paths of virtue, by perpetual prayer, contemplation, fasting, and watching.

One day, sitting together on the bank of a spring, John disclosed to Felix the design he had conceived on the day on which he said his first mass, to succor the Christians under the Mahometan slavery, and spoke so movingly upon the subject that Felix was convinced that the design was from God, and offered him his joint concurrence to carry it into execution. They took some time to recommend it to God by prayer and fasting, and then set out for Rome in the midst of a severe winter, towards the end of the year 1197, to obtain the pope’s benediction. They found Innocent III. promoted to the chair of St. Peter, who being already informed of their sanctity and charitable design by letters of recommendation from the bishop of Paris, his holiness received them as two angels from heaven; lodged them in his own palace, and gave them many long private audiences. After which he assembled the cardinals and some bishops in the palace of St. John Lateran, and asked their advice. After their deliberations he ordered a fast and particular prayers to know the will of heaven. At length, being convinced that these two holy men were led by the spirit of God, and that great advantages would accrue to the church from such an institute, he consented to their erecting a new religious order, and declared St. John the first general minister. The bishop of Paris, and the abbot of St. Victor, were ordered to draw up their rules, which the pope approved by a bull, in 1198. He ordered the religious to wear a white habit, with a red and blue cross on the breast, and to take the name of the order of the Holy Trinity. He confirmed it some time after, adding new privileges by a second bull, dated in 1209.

The two founders having obtained the pope’s blessing and certain indults or privileges, returned to France, and presented themselves to the king, Philip Augustus, who authorized the establishment of their Order in his kingdom, and favored it with his liberalities. Gaucher III., lord of Chatillon, gave them land whereon to build a convent. Their number increasing, the same lord, seconded by the king, gave them Cerfroid, the place in which St. John and St. Felix concerted the first plan of their institute. It is situated in Brie, on the confines of Valois. This house of Cerfroid, or De Cervo frigido, is the chief of the order. The two saints founded many other convents in France, and sent several of their religious to accompany the counts of Flanders and Blois, and other lords, to the holy war. Pope Innocent III. wrote to recommend these religious to Miramolin, king of Morocco; and St. John sent thither two of his religious in 1201, who redeemed one hundred and eighty-six Christian slaves the first voyage. The year following, St. John went himself to Tunis, where he purchased the liberty of one hundred and ten more. He returned into Provence, and there received great charities, which he carried into Spain, and redeemed many in captivity under the Moors. On his return he collected large alms among the Christians towards this charitable undertaking. His example produced a second order of Mercy, instituted by St. Peter Nolasco, in 1235.

St. John made a second voyage to Tunis in 1210, in which he suffered much from the infidels, enraged at his zeal and success in exhorting the poor slaves to patience and constancy in their faith. As he was returning with one hundred and twenty slaves he had ransomed, the barbarians took away the helm from his vessel, and tore all its sails, that they might perish in the sea. The saint, full of confidence in God, begged him to be their pilot, and hung up his companions’ cloaks for sails, and, with a crucifix in his hands, kneeling on the deck, singing psalms, after a prosperous voyage, they all landed safe at Ostia, in Italy. Felix, by this time, had greatly propagated his order in France, and obtained for it a convent in Paris, in a place where stood before a chapel of St. Mathurin, whence these religious in France are called Mathurins.

St. John lived two years more in Rome, which he employed in exhorting all to penance with great energy and fruit. He died on the 21st of December, in 1213 aged sixty-one. He was buried in his church of St. Thomas, where his monument yet remains, though his body has been translated into Spain. Pope Honorius III. confirmed the rule of this order a second time. By the first rule, they were not permitted to buy any thing for their sustenance except bread, pulse, herbs, oil, eggs, milk, cheese, and fruit; never flesh nor fish: however, they might eat flesh on the principal festivals, on condition it was given them. They were not, in travelling, to ride on any beasts but asses.*

St. Chrysostom[1] elegantly and pathetically extols the charity of the widow of Sarepta, whom neither poverty nor children, nor hunger, nor fear of death, withheld from affording relief to the prophet Elias, and he exhorts every one to meditate on her words, and keep her example present to his mind. “How hard or insensible soever we are,” says he, “they will make a deep impression upon us, and we shall not be able to refuse relief to the poor, when we have before our eyes the generous charity of this widow. It is true, you will tell me, that if you meet with a prophet in want, you could not refuse doing him all the good offices in your power. But what ought you not to do for Jesus Christ, who is the master of the prophets? He takes whatsoever you do to the poor as done to himself.” When we consider the zeal and joy with which the saints sacrificed themselves for their neighbors, how must we blush at, and condemn our insensibility at the spiritual and the corporal calamities of others! The saints regarded affronts, labors, and pains, as nothing for the service of others in Christ: we cannot bear the least word or roughness of temper.
Please listen to the frequent messages and take heed of the directions given from Our Living Lord and Our Loving Lady from around the world here: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/ Great things are at stake. Please consecrate your life to the Blessed Mother so that the Kingdom of God may come, "Ad Sanctam Trinitatem per Mariam, Ut adveniat Regnum Deum, adveniat Regnum Mariae, ergo TOTUS TUUS ego sum, MARIA" See http://www.maria-domina-animarum.net/en/flowers/1-250

Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For all the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for Priests, Nuns and Monks, for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/ It is recommended that you make this Life Offering as soon as you feel ready, and to renew it from time to time. Please do.

Please read the Blessed Mother's amazing promises in the link: A simple effective way for thousands of us to save millions of souls. The Doctors and Apostles say if we save even just one other soul through prayer and sacrifice, we also ensure the salvation of our own. Let us all Offer all our Life to Jesus and Mary Today.
 

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Re: Fr. Butler's Lives of the Saints (1903): Daily devotional.
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2019, 10:55:36 AM »
Feb 9 ST. APOLLONIA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

Her acts are of no authority, and falsely place her triumph at Rome, instead of Alexandria. See Tillemont, t. 3, p. 295. Her authentic history is in the letter of St. Dionysius, then bishop of Alexandria, preserved by Eusebius,1. 6, c. 41, 42, p. 236. Ed. Val.

A. D. 249.

ST. DIONYSIUS of Alexandria wrote to Fabius, bishop of Antioch, a relation of the persecution raised at Alexandria by the heathen populace of that city, in the last year of the reign of the emperor Philip. A certain poet of Alexandria, who pretended to foretell things to come, stirred up this great city against the Christians on the motive of religion. The first victim of their rage was a venerable old man, named Metras, or Metrius, whom they would have compelled to utter impious words against the worship of the true God: which, when he refused to do, they beat him with staffs, thrust splinters of reeds into his eyes, and having dragged him into one of the suburbs, stoned him to death. The next person they seized was a Christian woman, called Quinta, whom they carried to one of their temples to pay divine worship to the idol. She loaded the execrable divinity with many reproaches, which so exasperated the people that they dragged her by the heels upon the pavement of sharp pebbles, cruelly scourged her, and put her to the same death. The rioters, by this time, were in the height of their fury. Alexandria seemed like a city taken by storm. The Christians made no opposition, but betook themselves to flight, and beheld the loss of their goods with joy; for their hearts had no ties on earth. Their constancy was equal to their disinterestedness; for of all who fell into their hands, St. Dionysius knew of none that renounced Christ.

The admirable Apollonia, whom old age and the state of virginity rendered equally venerable, was seized by them. Their repeated blows on her jaws beat out all her teeth. At last they made a great fire without the city, and threatened to cast her into it, if she did not utter certain impious words. She begged a moment’s delay, as if it had been to deliberate on the proposal; but, to convince her persecutors that her sacrifice was perfectly voluntary, she no sooner found herself at liberty, than of her own accord she leaped into the flames. They next exercised their fury on a holy man called Serapion, and tortured him in his own house with great cruelty. After bruising his limbs, disjointing and breaking his bones, they threw him headlong from the top of the house on the pavement, and so completed his martyrdom. A civil war among the pagan citizens put an end to their fury this year, but the edict of Decius renewed it in 250. See the rest of the relation on the 27th of February. An ancient church in Rome, which is frequented with great devotion, bears the name of St. Apollonia: under whose patronage we meet with churches and altars in most parts of the Western church.

The last part of our saint’s conduct is not proposed to our imitation, as self-murder is unjustifiable. If any among the Fathers have commended it, they presumed, with St. Austin, that it was influenced by a particular direction of the Holy Ghost, or was the effect of a pious simplicity, founded in motives of holy zeal and charity. For it can never be lawful for a person by any action wilfully to concur to, or hasten his own death, though many martyrs out of an ardent charity, and desire of laying down their lives for God, and being speedily united to him, anticipated the executioners in completing their sacrifice. Among the impious, absurd, and false maxims of the Pagan Greeks and Romans, scarce any thing was more monstrous than the manner in which they canonized suicide in distress, as a remedy against temporal miseries, and a point of heroism. To bear infamy and all kind of sufferings with unshaken constancy and virtue, is true courage and greatness of soul, and the test and triumph of virtue: and to sink under misfortunes, is the most unworthy baseness of soul. But what name can we find for the pusillanimity of those who are not able so much as to look humiliations, poverty, or affliction in the face? Our life we hold of God, and he who destroys it injures God, to whom he owes it. He refuses also to his friends and to the republic of mankind, the comfort and succors which they are entitled in justice or charity to receive from him. Moreover, if to murder another is the greatest temporal injustice a man can commit against a neighbor, life being of all temporal blessings the greatest and most noble, suicide is a crime so much more enormous, as the charity which every one owes to himself, especially to his immortal soul is stricter more noble and of a superior order to that which he owes to his neighbor.
Please listen to the frequent messages and take heed of the directions given from Our Living Lord and Our Loving Lady from around the world here: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/ Great things are at stake. Please consecrate your life to the Blessed Mother so that the Kingdom of God may come, "Ad Sanctam Trinitatem per Mariam, Ut adveniat Regnum Deum, adveniat Regnum Mariae, ergo TOTUS TUUS ego sum, MARIA" See http://www.maria-domina-animarum.net/en/flowers/1-250

Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For all the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for Priests, Nuns and Monks, for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/ It is recommended that you make this Life Offering as soon as you feel ready, and to renew it from time to time. Please do.

Please read the Blessed Mother's amazing promises in the link: A simple effective way for thousands of us to save millions of souls. The Doctors and Apostles say if we save even just one other soul through prayer and sacrifice, we also ensure the salvation of our own. Let us all Offer all our Life to Jesus and Mary Today.