Saint Leander

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Saint Leander

Archbishop of Seville
(† 596)

Saint Leander was born of an illustrious family at Carthagena in Spain. He was the eldest of five brothers, several of whom are numbered among the Saints. He entered into a monastery of Seville very young, where he lived many years and attained to an eminent degree of virtue and sacred learning. These qualities occasioned his being promoted to the see of Seville; but his change of condition made little or no alteration in his way of life, though it brought on him a great increase of solicitude.

Spain at that time was held in possession by the Visigoths. These Goths, being infected with Arianism, established that heresy wherever they came, in such wise that at the time Saint Leander was made bishop, it had already reigned in Spain a hundred years. This was his great affliction. Nonetheless, by his prayers to God and by his most zealous and unwearied endeavors, he became the happy instrument of the conversion of that nation to the Catholic faith, as his story makes clear.

The holy archbishop had converted, among others, his own nephew Hermenegild, who was the king’s eldest son and heir apparent, and for this he was banished by King Leovigild, his own brother-in-law. The pious Catholic prince, now known as Saint Hermenegild, was put to death in prison by his unnatural father in the following year, for refusing to receive Communion from the hands of an Arian bishop. Afterwards, touched by grace and filled with remorse, the king recalled Saint Leander.
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The laws of fast apply to persons between the ages of 21 and 59. On a fast day, one may eat one full meal and two light meatless meals, which together would not equal the main meal. Meat may be taken at the principal meal, except on days of complete abstinence. Liquids such as water, milk, and fruit juices may be taken between meals.

Rules of Abstinence

The laws of abstinence apply to everyone seven years of age and over. On a day of complete abstinence no meat, meat gravy or soup made from meat may be taken. On a day of partial abstinence, meat may be taken once.

Traditional Days of Fast

All the weekdays of Lent (Monday through Saturday) up until noon on Holy Saturday; Ember Days; the Vigils of Pentecost, the Immaculate Conception, Christmas and All Saints.

Traditional Days of Complete Abstinence

Every Friday of the year; Ash Wednesday; Holy Saturday (until noon); the Vigils of All Saints, the Immaculate Conception, and Christmas.

Traditional Days of Partial Abstinence

Ember Wednesdays and Saturdays, and the Vigil of Pentecost.


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This ancient and venerable Catholic practice is rooted in the representation of the face of Christ said to have been left on the towel or veil used by a holy woman thought to be named, Veronica. An Archconfraternity of the Holy Face was established in Tours, France, 1884; its members make reparation for the blasphemies hurled at Christ. Since St. Therese’s devotion to the Holy Face has become known, this devotion has spread worldwide.

In addition, a devout and pious nun, Sr. Pierina, who died in 1945, was given many visions through Our Blessed Lady who appeared to her, as did Our Lord Jesus. They urged her to make reparation for the many insults Jesus suffered in His Passion, such as to be slapped, spit upon and kissed by Judas, as well as now being dishonored in many ways in the Blessed Sacrament by neglect, sacrileges, and profanations.

She was given a medal which on one side bore a replica of the Holy Shroud and the inscription: “Illumina, Domine, vultum tuum super nos.” [O Lord, the light of Thy countenance shine upon us.] On the reverse side was a radiant host with the words: “Mane nobiscum, Domine.” [Stay with us, O Lord.] After great difficulties, Sr. Pierina obtained permission to have the medal cast. Even the expenses for the casting were miraculously met when she found on her desk an envelope with the exact amount of the bill—–11,200 lire. Continue reading

Reflections for Shrove Tuesday in Quinquagesima

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Reflections for Shrove Tuesday in Quinquagesima

By the Right Rev. Dom Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B. Abbot of Solesmes Abbey

The fundamental rule of Christian life is, as almost every page of the Gospel tells us, that we should live out of the world, separate ourselves from the world, hate the world. The world is that ungodly land which Abraham, our sublime model, is commanded by God to quit. It is that Babylon of our exile and captivity, where we are beset with dangers. The beloved disciple cries out to us: ‘Love not the world, nor the things which are in the world. If any man love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him.'(1)- {St. John ii. 15} Our most merciful Jesus, at the very time when He was about to offer Himself as a sacrifice for all men, spoke these words: ‘I pray not for the world.'(2)- {Ibid. xvii: 9) When we were baptized, and were signed with the glorious and indelible and were signed with the glorious and indelible character of Christians, the condition required of us, and accepted, was that we should renounce the works and pomps of the world (which we expressed under the name of Satan); and this solemn baptismal promise we have often renewed.

But what is the meaning of our promise to renounce the world? Is it that we cannot be Christians, unless we flee into the desert and separate ourselves from our fellow-creatures? Such cannot be God’s will for all, since, in that same Scripture, wherein He commands us to flee from the world, He also tells us what are our duties to each other, and sanctions and blesses those ties which He Himself has willed should exist among us. His apostle, also, tells us to use this world as though we did not use it. (3)- {1 Corinthians vii: 31} It is not, therefore, forbidden us to live in, and to use the world. Then, what means this renouncing the world? Can there be contradiction in God’s commandments? Is it possible that we are condemned to wander blindly on the brink of a precipice, into which we must at last inevitably fall? Continue reading

Theodosius Issued an Edict

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Theodosius Issued an Edict

There are many turning points in the Church’s history. One of the most significant is little remembered by most of the faithful.

After Constantine’s conversion, he legitimised Christianity. Soon thereafter Christians in the Roman empire divided between Arianism (which denies the divinity of our Blessed Lord) and Trinitarianism (which sees God as three persons in one being). The first universal Church council, held at Nicea in 325, resisted Arianism; all but three of its Bishops voted for a Trinitarian creed.

Shortly after he came to the Imperial throne, Theodosius ended the Arian dispute by the simple expedient of issuing an edict. On this day 27 February 380 (some historians say 381) this edict commanded everyone to be a Christian–but not just any kind of Christian. A Catholic Christian, it said, was one who held that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one Godhead and equal in majesty. This, of course, was the position of the Nicene Creed. Theodosius’ decision was the result of his upbringing: he was reared in a Christian home, perhaps the first emperor to enjoy that distinction.

The following year, Theodosius issued another edict specifically requiring worship of the one God according to the Nicene Creed. Theodosius deposed Demophilus of Constantinople an Arian bishop and replaced him with a Trinitarian.

These laws (Codex Theodosianus16.1.2 and 16.5.6) are significant for many reasons. They made orthodox catholic Christianity the official dogma of the Church and suppressed the Arian factions. The laws established a pattern which would become more pronounced as Theodosius’ reign progressed of using the apparatus of the state to ensuring the orthodoxy of the Faith.