Saint Anacletus

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Saint Anacletus

Pope and Martyr
(† 96)

Saint Anacletus was the second successor to Saint Peter, by whom he was converted to the faith. He was also ordained a deacon and consecrated priest by Christ’s own first Vicar, as Saint Ignatius of Antioch affirms. He was Greek by origin, born in Athens; in the year 83 he was chosen to succeed Saint Cletus, who had been martyred. The emperor Domitian had begun a violent persecution which increased in fury as time passed; but the faith of the Christians did not diminish, only receiving new force from the blood of the martyrs.

This holy Pontiff omitted no solicitude which could animate the faithful to expose their lives generously for the glory of Jesus Christ. During his nine years of reign, he consecrated six bishops. The last of these bishops was Saint Evaristus, who would succeed him; Saint Anacletus consecrated him the year before his death, foreseeing he could not long escape the fate of all the first Vicars of Christ.

One of his enduring ordinances was the law that for the consecration of a bishop, three bishops must participate; that practice had been established by Saint Paul. He also required that all ordinations be accomplished in public. He built a church in honor of Saint Peter, to whom he owed his conversion, at the site of Saint Peter’s burial; the original structure was conserved by Providence amid many tempests. He reserved burial sites for future martyrs in the Christian cemeteries, because multitudes were being condemned under Domitian. He also designated and adorned sites for the interment of future Pontiffs in the Vatican. Saint Anacletus was highly praised by Saint Ignatius of Antioch in a well-known letter. He died on July 13th in the year 96, and was buried in the Vatican.

Certain authors would confound Saint Cletus and Anacletus and make of them one person. Their father’s names are known, however, as well as their place of birth — the one in Italy, the other in Greece; moreover, Saint Cletus was consecrated bishop by Saint Peter, saint Anacletus was ordained a priest by him.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 8

SS. Nabor and Felix

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SS. Nabor and Felix, Martyrs

THEY suffered at Milan under Maximian Herculeus about the year 304. Their bodies were first interred without the walls of the city, but afterwards brought into it, and deposited in a place where a church was built over their tomb, to which great multitudes of people resorted with wonderful devotion, as Paulinus testifies in his life of St. Ambrose. In the same church St. Ambrose discovered the relics of SS. Gervasius and Protasius, as himself relates in his letter to his sister Marcellina. The people continued to venerate the relics of SS. Nabor and Felix with the same ardour of devotion, as that holy doctor assures us. 1 They are still honoured in the same church, which at present bears the name of St. Francis. See Solier the Bollandist, t. 3, Julij. p. 280. 1

Note 1. In Luc. l. 7, c. 13. [back]

St. Veronica

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St. Veronica

In several regions of Christendom there is honored under this name a pious matron of Jerusalem who, during the Passion of Christ, as one of the holy women who accompanied Him to Calvary, offered Him a towel on which he left the imprint of His face. She went to Rome, bringing with her this image of Christ, which was long exposed to public veneration. To her likewise are traced other relics of the Blessed Virgin venerated in several churches of the West. The belief in the existence of authentic images of Christ is connected with the old legend of Abgar of Edessa and the apocryphal writing known as the “Mors Pilati”. To distinguish at Rome the oldest and best known of these images it was called vera icon (true image), which ordinary language soon made veronica. It is thus designated in several medieval texts mentioned by the Bollandists (e.g. an old Missal of Augsburg has a Mass “De S. Veronica seu Vultus Domini”), and Matthew of Westminster speaks of the imprint of the image of the Savior which is called Veronica: “Effigies Domenici vultus quae Veronica nuncupatur”. By degrees, popular imagination mistook this word for the name of a person and attached thereto several legends which vary according to the country.

In Italy Veronica comes to Rome at the summons of the Emperor Tiberius, whom she cures by making him touch the sacred image. She thenceforth remains in the capitol of the empire, living there at the same time as Sts. Peter and Paul, and at her death bequeaths the precious image to Pope Clement and his successors.

In France she is given in marriage to Zacheus, the convert of the Gospel, accompanies him to Rome, and then to Quiercy, where her husband becomes a hermit, under the name of Amadour, in the region now called Rocamadour. Meanwhile Veronica joins Martial, whom she assists in his apostolic preaching.

In the region of Bordeaux Veronica, shortly after the Ascension of Christ, lands at Soulac at the mouth of the Gironde, bringing relics of the Blessed Virgin; there she preaches, dies, and is buried in the tomb which was long venerated either at Soulac or in the Church of St. Seurin at Bordeaux. Sometimes she has even been confounded with a pious woman who, according to Gregory of Tours, brought to the neighboring town of Bazas some drops of the blood of John the Baptist, at whose beheading she was present.
In many places she is identified with the Haemorrhissa who was cured in the Gospel.

These pious traditions cannot be documented, but there is no reason why the belief that such an act of compassion did occur should not find expression in the veneration paid to one called Veronica, even though the name has found no place in the Hieronymian Martyrology or the oldest historical Martyrologies, and St. Charles Borromeo excluded the Office of St. Veronica from the Milan Missal where it had been introduced. The Roman Martyrology also records at Milan St. Veronica de Binasco, the Order of St. Augustine, on 13 January, and St. Veronica Giuliani on 9 July.

Acta SS. Bolland., Feb. I (Paris, 1863); Maury, Lettres sur l’etymologie du nom de Veronique, apotre de l’Aquitaine (Toulouse, 1877); Bourrieres, Saint Amadour et Sainte Veronique (Cahors, 1894); Palme, Die deutchen Veronicalegenden des XII Jahrh. (Prague, 1892)

APA citation. Dégert, A. (1912). St. Veronica. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Dégert, Antoine. “St. Veronica.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

The Victories of the Precious Blood 

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Meditation on the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

The Victories of the Precious Blood

The Precious Blood has conquered sin and Satan. It was the shedding of it on the Cross which gave the death-blow to the kingdom of the devil. It was when the Son of God had, by the loss of His Sacred Blood, been reduced to the extremity of weakness and of misery, and brought down to the very gates of death, that He triumphed over the tyrant that had enslaved the world, and compelled all the rebel angels to bow the knee before His Sacred Humanity. Rejoice with your victorious King, and pray that you may deserve to share His triumph.

The Precious Blood has also conquered sinners by thousands, who, if it had not been shed, would have remained hardened sinners unto the end. Who can withstand Its silent appeal, as It trickles down from His Head, His Hands, His Feet? Who can refuse to listen to Its silent pleadings? Who can turn away from Him Who has thus loved us even unto death? O my Jesus, may I never turn away from Thy voice calling me from Thy Throne upon the Cross to love Thee and obey Thy voice.

The Precious Blood has also conquered and averted the anger of God, Whose decree of just retribution would, but for It, have fallen upon sinners. Can the Father resist the pleadings of His coequal Son, when He holds out His Hands, still marked with the scars of His sacred wounds, and asks for mercy and forgiveness for the sinner? May Thy wounds, O Jesus, plead for me now and at the hour of death!