St. Peter of Pisa

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St. Peter of Pisa

Founder of the Hermits of St. Jerome

HE was born at Pisa in 1355, whilst his father, Peter Gambacorta enjoyed the sovereign authority in that commonwealth. Being twenty-five years old, he privately left his father’s court, disguised in the habit of a poor penitent, and retired to Montebello, an agreeable solitude in Umbria. He begged his subsistence in the neighbouring village, and, in 1380, found means to build a church, and twelve cells for so many companions who had joined him. He chose St. Jerom for the patron of his congregation, because that father having visited the hermitages of all Egypt and Syria, selected out of each what seemed to him the most perfect in every exercise. Peter prescribed to his monks four Lents in the year, and to fast on all Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; to continue in prayer two hours after Matins, at night, &c. As to himself, his whole time was devoted to the exercises of prayer, and his life was most austere. F. Sajanello relates many miracles performed by him, and gives an edifying account of his eminent virtues. His congregation was approved by Martin V. in 1421. His father and two brothers being assassinated by their secretary in 1393, he was tempted to leave his desert to do justice to his family and country: but by redoubling his fervour in his holy exercises, he overcame that suggestion of the devil. He died in 1435, being eighty years old: was styled blessed by Pius V. and Clement VIII., and a solemn decree of his beatification was published by Innocent XII. in 1693. His congregation is much spread in Italy. The Order of St. Jerom of Fiesoli instituted by the Ven. Charles of Montegraneli, a noble Florentin, was united to it by Clement IX. in 1668. There are also hermits of St. Jerom in Spain, of a like institute. They follow the rule of the hermits of St. Austin; but adopt certain constitutions gathered from the works of St. Jerom. See Helyot, and Historica Monumenta Ordinis S. Hieronymi Congr.; B. Petri de Pisis, auctore Jo. Baptista Sajanello, ej. Ordinis. Patavini Collegii Doctore Theologo, Venetiis, anno 1758, t. 1; also his life, written about the year 1500, published by the Bollandists on the 14th of June, and many other authors quoted by Benedict XIV. l. 2, de Canoniz. c. 24, p. 239.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume VI: June.
The Lives of the Saints. 1866. June 1.


Month of The Sacred Heart

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Month of The Sacred Heart

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of June is set apart for devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “From among all the proofs of the infinite goodness of our Savior none stands out more prominently than the fact that, as the love of the faithful grew cold, He, Divine Love Itself, gave Himself to us to be honored by a very special devotion and that the rich treasury of the Church was thrown wide open in the interests of that devotion.” These words of Pope Pius XI refer to the Sacred Heart Devotion, which in its present form dates from the revelations given to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1673-75.

The devotion consists in the divine worship of the human heart of Christ, which is united to His divinity and which is a symbol of His love for us. The aim of the devotion is to make our Lord king over our hearts by prompting them to return love to Him (especially through an act of consecration by which we offer to the Heart of Jesus both ourselves and all that belongs to us) and to make reparation for our ingratitude to God.


O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee; for I fear all things from my own weakness, but I hope for all things from Thy goodness. Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque


Devotion to the Sacred Heart was the characteristic note of the piety of Saint Gertrude the Great (1256-1302), Benedictine nun and renowned mystic. She was, in fact, the first great exponent of devotion to the Sacred Heart. In our efforts to honor the Heart of Jesus we have this prayer as a model for our own: Hail! O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and quickening source of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and burning furnace of divine love. Thou art my refuge and my sanctuary, 0 my amiable Savior. Consume my heart with that burning fire with which Thine is ever inflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Thy love, and let my heart be so united with Thine, that our wills may be one, and mine in all things be conformed to Thine. May Thy divine will be equally the standard and rule of all my desires and of all my actions. Amen. Saint Gertrude


O most holy Heart of Jesus, shower Thy blessings in abundant measure upon Thy holy Church, upon the Supreme Pontiff and upon all the clergy; to the just grant perseverance; convert sinners; enlighten unbelievers; bless our relations, friends and benefactors; assist the dying; deliver the holy souls in purgatory; and extend over all hearts the sweet empire of Thy love. Amen.


O God, who didst in wondrous manner reveal to the virgin, Margaret Mary, the unsearchable riches of Thy Heart, grant that loving Thee, after her example, in all things and above all things, we may in Thy Heart find our abiding home. Roman Missal


Reveal Thy Sacred Heart to me, O Jesus, and show me Its attractions. Unite me to It for ever. Grant that all my aspirations and all the beats of my heart, which cease not even while I sleep, may be a testimonial to Thee of my love for Thee and may say to Thee: Yes, Lord, I am all Thine; pledge of my allegiance to Thee rests ever in my heart will never cease to be there. Do Thou accept the slight amount of good that I do and be graciously pleased to repair all my wrong-doing; so that I may be able to bless Thee in time and in eternity. Amen. Cardinal Merry del Val

MEMORARE TO THE SACRED HEART Remember, O most sweet Jesus, that no one who has had recourse to Thy Sacred Heart, implored its help, or sought it mercy was ever abandoned. Encouraged with confidence, O tenderest of hearts, we present ourselves before Thee, crushes beneath the weight of our sins. In our misery, O Sacred Heart of Jesus, despise not our simple prayers, but mercifully grant our requests.

St. Angela Merici

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St. Angela Merici

Foundress of the Ursulines, born 21 March, 1474, at Desenzano, a small town on the southwestern shore of Lake Garda in Lombardy; died 27 January, 1540, at Brescia.

She was left an orphan at the age of ten and together with her elder sister came to the home of her uncle at the neighbouring town of Salo where they led an angelic life. When her sister met with a sudden death, without being able to receive the last sacraments, young Angela was much distressed. She became a tertiary of St. Francis and greatly increased her prayers and mortifications for the repose of her sister’s soul. In her anguish and pious simplicity she prayed God to reveal to her the condition of her deceased sister. It is said that by a vision she was satisfied her sister was in the company of the saints in heaven.

When she was twenty years old, her uncle died, and she returned to her paternal home at Desenzano. Convinced that the great need of her times was a better instruction of young girls in the rudiments of the Christian religion, she converted her home into a school where at stated intervals she daily gathered all the little girls of Desenzano and taught them the elements of Christianity. It is related that one day, while in an ecstasy, she had a vision in which it was revealed to her that she was to found an association of virgins who were to devote their lives to the religious training of young girls. The school she had established at Desenzano soon bore abundant fruit, and she was invited to the neighbouring city, Brescia, to establish a similar school at that place. Angela gladly accepted the invitation. Continue reading

St. Petronilla

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St. Petronilla, Virgin

AMONG the disciples of the apostles in the primitive age of saints, this holy virgin shone as a bright star in the church. She lived when Christians were more solicitous to live well than to write much: they knew how to die for Christ; but did not compile long books or disputations, 1 in which vanity has often a greater share than charity. Hence no particular account of her actions hath been transmitted down to us. But how eminent her sanctity was we may judge from the lustre by which it was distinguished among the apostles, prophets, and martyrs. Her name is the feminine and diminutive of Peter, and she is said to have been a daughter of the apostle St. Peter, which tradition is confirmed by certain writings quoted by the Manichees in the time of St. Austin, 2 which affirm that St. Peter had a daughter whom he cured of a palsy. That St. Peter was married before his vocation to the apostleship we learn from the gospel; though St. Jerom and other ancient fathers testify that he lived in continency after his call. St. Clement of Alexandria assures us, 3 that his wife attained to the glory of martyrdom; at which that apostle himself encouraged her, bidding her to remember our Lord. But it seems not certain whether St. Petronilla was more than the spiritual daughter of that apostle. She flourished at Rome, and was buried on the way to Ardea, where anciently a cemetery and a church bore her name; so famous that in it a station or place for the assembly of the city in public prayer, was established by Gregory III. She is commemorated in the true Martyrology of Bede, in those which bear the name of St. Jerom, &c. 1
The saints, whether in sickness or in health, in public or in private life, devoted all their thoughts and actions to God, and thus sanctified all their employments. The great end for which they lived was always present to their minds, and they thought every moment lost in which they did not make some advances towards eternal bliss. How will their example condemn at the last day the trifling fooleries, and the greater part of the conversation and employments of the world, which aim at nothing but present amusements, as if it were the business of a rational creature to divert his mind from thought and reflection, and forget the only affair—the business of eternity. 2

Note 1. Sciebant mori, non sciebant disputare. St. Cypr.
Note 2. St. Aug. l. Contra Adimant. c. 17.
Note 3. Strom. l. 7, p. 736.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume V: May.
The Lives of the Saints. 1866. May 31