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Posts Tagged ‘Feast Day’

Saint Agnes was a Roman Christian martyr around 304. The name Agnes means pure in Greek and lamb in Latin. Which I think is very good description of Saint Agnes.

You see she was a young girl. Most likely 12 years old. No older then 13. This we know from examination of her remains in St Agnes Church in Rome.

Her martyrdom was part of the Diocletian persecutions. The harshest and most wide spread persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. These persecutions stretched from Britain to the far East.

Many Romans were quite disturbed by the martyr of Saint Agnes. For not only was she a young girl she was also a virgin. Many exclaimed it was contrary to Roman law to put to death virgin woman. Others in shock and bewilderment struggled with the idea that a girl so young was such a threat that her life had to be ended.

Her death was one of the final pushes to stop the carnage and mortal suffering Christians in the Empire endured. Her Death was a stumbling stone for many. The church began to grow as stories of sweet Agnes traveled throughout Rome.

Her death raised questions to many. People wanted to know what was so great about being a Christian. What did Saint Agnes have that was worth dieing for at such a young age.

It was in her the silent witness of her red crown that not only peace came to those persecuted, but new life to those who were the living dead.

Still today the story of this young virgin inspires many. We see a young girl so full of life, love, and dreams give it all away. She gave it away for the perfect love found in Jesus. A love that is readily available for all of us. For the sake of Blessed Agnes and others who have received the same fate. Don’t take for granted this perfect love. Live it out like a beacon on a hill. Show the love of Christ Jesus in everything you do.

Prayers

St. Agnes, vessel of honor, flower of unfading fragrance, beloved of the choirs of Angels, you are an example to the worth of virtue and chastity. O you who wear a Martyr’s palm and a virgin’s wreath, pray for us that, though unworthy of a special crown, we may have our names written in the list of Saints.

Amen

or

O Little St. Agnes, so young and yet made so strong and wise by the power of God, protect by your prayers all the young people of every place whose goodness and purity are threatened by the evils and impurities of this world.

Give them strength in temptation and a true repentance when they fail. Help them to find true Christian friends to accompany them in following the Lamb of God and finding safe pastures in His Church and in her holy sacraments.

May you lead us to the wedding banquet of heaven to rejoice with you and all the holy virgin martyrs in Christ who lives and reigns forever and ever.

Amen.

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Today we look at the life and martyrdom of Saint Fabian.  After the death of Pope Anteros who died in 236.  Saint Dabian went to Rome for the papal election.  From what we know he was a layperson, and of no real significance.  I know how a papal election looks.  So many people flood St. Peter square.  Bishops, Cardinals, Nuns, Priest, and other religious as well as common folk.

The streets of Rome bursting with life.  Vendors selling food and wares.  The noise and excitement of it all will build stories to tell that will go on for generations.

I am sure things were different in the time of St. Fabian, but nerveless still very exciting. So many questions must have been swelling in Saint Fabians mind as well as others.  I am sure they must have wondered who the new pope was to be.  Is he someone known for power? Dose he speak eloquently?  Or maybe someone with great courage.

What happened was unexpected by all who assembled.  During the election a dove descended from above and rested on St. Fabian.  Everyone there proclaimed Fabian as the one worthy of being the new pope.

The Holy Spirit surely was at work in Saint Fabian.  Philip the Emperor of Rome kind to the Christians. A time of peace and acceptance came to the people of Rome.  During this time Pope Fabian broke Rome into parishes,  appointed 7 Deacons, and put together a group of scribes to collect the history of the martyr.

As you know in life nothing stays the same.  Emperor Philip died and so did the time of peace.  Many pagans who were not happy about the new found stability in the church began to attack them.  The new Emperor Decius demanded for all Christians to offer incense and perform pagan rituals to idols.

During the years of peace many in the church grew soft, spiritually fat and lazy.  Most did not have the courage to stand up and say yes to martyrdom.  Sadly they compromised their faith for fear of suffering.  We cannot say that for Saint Fabian.  He stood for truth and righteousness, and received his red crown of martyrdom in 250.  His body was buried in the Cemetery of Calixtus that he helped rebuild.  His grave stone can still be seen by visitors.  St. Fabian was a great symbol of peace and courage to the Christians of Rome.

Tradition shows us that the only thing in life that changes is time.  Like the Christians in Rome we find ourselves lazy, and complacent in a time of peace.  The only difference is for us to say yes to God will yield minimal discomfort, or at the worse cost us a few friends.  For them it was their life.

Why are we so afraid to stand out like Saint Fabian?  Is it our faith is really that superficial?  Are we to denounce Jesus like those Christians who did so by burning incense to a pagan idols?  Or be like Peter who said no by denying Jesus while he was dieing on the Cross?

I challenge all who read this to step out, and live your faith.  Give your time to charities.  Share your faith with those you come in contact with.  Offer your Fridays up to the Lord as a sacrifice of penitence.  I would suggest fasting meat or food all together.  Give of your life now  so that if the time comes you know you will be like Saint Fabian, and your answer will be yes.

Prayer

O God, who in your providence called your servant Fabian to the office of Bishop, and guided him so to strengthen thy Church that it stood fast in the day of persecution: Grant that those whom you call to any ministry in the Church may be obedient to your call in all humility, and be enabled to carry out their tasks with diligence and faithfulness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

or

Pope Saint Fabian, it’s so easy to believe that peace means a life without conflict or suffering. Help us to see that the only true peace is the peace Christ brings. Never let us as a Church or as individual Christians choose to deny our beliefs simply to avoid an unpleasant situation. Amen

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There is not much to be said about St. Edmund. He was King of East Anglia. His kingdom was one of the three Anglo kingdoms established in Britain in the 400’s. The other 7 where Saxon ruled. Interestingly enough still today each of these areas of England still have different accents.

East Anglia was invaded in 870. The Danes invaded, and brought a wave of fiery destruction throughout the land. They burned the churches, and slaughtered whole villages leaving total destruction in their wake. When they reached East Anglia The Danish leaders confronted King Edmund. They offered him peace if he would rule under their authority, and burn the rest of the churches.

St. Edmund stood firm in his beliefs. He was tortured and finally put to death. St. Edmund feared nothing more then God. Like the Apostles He rejoiced that he was counted worthy to suffer for the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said that we should rejoice when we suffer for His sake, because great is our reward in Heaven.

So Blessed is Saint Edmund who by his stand spilled his blood for the sake of the faith. Blessed are those who stood firm beside their great king. Blessed are us who have such a rich Celtic and Anglo Catholic Tradition.

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Cropped St_ ALbertI am so excited about St. Albert the Great. Just a few days ago they were talking about him on EWTN. Apparently he wrote a book on memory aids to memorizing scripture. I will forever think about a baby taking a bath in a font… That is a story for another day.

St. Albert the Great in his time and today is regarded as a great philosopher. St. Albert was a scholar of Greek and Christian writings. Especially the writings of Aristotle. This laid the foundation for St. Thomas Aquinas’s who’s master was St. Albert the Great.

Born into a noble German family. St. Albert was the oldest of his siblings. After spending time at university. St. Albert felt the call to religious life. Despite the great opposition his family voiced. St. Albert joined the Dominican Order.

Gifted in leaning St. Albert had a great thirst for knowledge. He consumed, digested, and later wrote about varying subjects such as: science, logic, astronomy, ethics, mathematics, metaphysics, and politics. He dedicated a large portion of his life putting together a library of all knowledge.

St. Albert taught in Paris and Cologne. Later on he became Bishop of Regensburg. He was a defender for mendicant orders, crusades into Germany and Bohemia. Were he shared the light of Christ to those who would hear.

We could all take a page or two from St. Albert’s life. For some it is the desire of learning. For others maybe the ability to have great faith in spite of analytical thought. Most of all for a deep love for our savior Jesus the Christ.

Prayer

St. Albert the Great, Scientist and Doctor of the Church, natural science always led you to the higher science of God. Though you had an encyclopedia knowledge, it never made you proud, for your regarded it as a gift of God. Inspire scientists to use their gifts well in studying the wonders of creation, thus bettering the lot of the human race, and rendering greater glory to God. Amen.

MARIAN PRAYER OF SAINT ALBERT THE GREAT (A.D. 1206-1280)
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favour with God.”
For note, Mary,
for you have found grace,
not taken it as Lucifer tried to so.
You have found grace,
not lost it as Adam did.
You have found favour with God
because you desired and sought it.
You have found uncreated Grace,
that is, God himself became your Son,
and with the Grace
you have found and obtained every uncreated good.

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So today there is no feast or Saint that we commemorate in the Anglican Church.  On my calendar I saw 2 for the Orthodox Church, but decided to write about a Saint the Catholic Church honors today.  Her name is St. Francis Xavier Cabrini.  Being from Chicago this name is very familiar.

Mother CabriniSt. Frances Cabrini was born in Lombardi, Italy in 1850.  At the age of 18 she decided she wanted to become a nun.  At that time many things stood in her way.  Her parent’s health was poor.  So instead of going after the desires of her heart she stayed home working the farm and raising her 12 siblings.

Sometime later in life a priest asked her to teach in a school for girls.  She worked at the school for 6 years.  One day St. Frances was contacted by her Bishop.  He requested that she would start The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart.  Ministering to the poor children is schools and hospitals were their work of service.

Mother Cabrini wanted to leave Italy, and venture to China in hopes to spread the faith of Christianity.  Pope Leo XIII had a much different idea for Mother Cabrini.  He urged her to travel to New York.    So in 1889 Mother Cabrini traveled to New York with 6 other nuns to work with the Italian immigrants.

With her strong faith, and passion for those who are suffering.  Mother Cabrini founded many schools, orphanages, and hospitals.  She did the same in other cities.  Chicago is one in particular.  Mother Cabrini had a great impact on the people if Chicago.  Her spirit still lives on in many parts of the cities Catholic community.

Mother Cabrini suffered and died of malaria in one of her hospitals in Chicago on December 22, 1917. She founded flourishing houses of work and charity in England, France, Spain, the United States, and South America. In 1946, she became the first American citizen to be canonized when she was elevated to sainthood by Pope Pius XII.

Prayer to Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini

Almighty and Eternal Father,
Giver of all Gifts,
show us Thy mercy,
and grant, we beseech Thee,
through the merits of Thy faithful Servant,
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini,
that all who invoke her intercession
may obtain what they desire
according to the good pleasure of Thy Holy Will.
(here name your request)
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini,
beloved spouse of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
intercede for us

That the favor we now ask may be granted

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