St. Jerome

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St. Jerome, Confessor and Doctor of the Church

St. Jerome, the great doctor of the church, was born at Stridonium, in Dalmatia, during the reign of the Emperor Constantine. Not less celebrated for his holy life than for his eminent knowledge and the great learning with which he expounded Holy Writ, St. Jerome was also a most heroic and victorious com-batter of heresy, and an unwearied defender of the truth of the Catholic faith. He received his first instructions in science at Rome. An insatiable desire thoroughly to study all branches of knowledge led him to different lands to become a disciple of the most famous teachers. Hence, he made such progress in science, that the most learned men, even the Popes themselves, asked his advice in various matters, especially when they experienced difficulty in expounding Holy Writ. Having returned from Greece, whither he had gone in search of knowledge, he went to Syria, partly to study still more, partly to visit the holy places. Meeting a great many monks there, he became acquainted with the holy life they led, and resolved to leave the world also and live in solitude in order to serve God more faithfully and be undisturbed in the reading of learned and pious works. Continue reading

INSTRUCTION FOR THE NINETEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

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INSTRUCTION FOR THE NINETEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

The Church’s Year
By Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine

INTROIT I am the salvation of the people, saith the Lord: in whatever tribulation they shall cry to me, I will hear them: and I will be their Lord for ever. Attend, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. (Ps. LXXVII.) Glory etc.

COLLECT Almighty and merciful God, graciously keep us from all things that are hurtful; that we, being set free both in mind and body, may with ready minds accomplish whatever is Thine. Thro’.

EPISTLE (Ephes. IV. 23-28.) Brethren, Be re­newed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth. Wherefore, putting, away lying, speak ye the truth every man with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry, and sin not. Let not the sun go clown upon your anger. Give not place to the devil. He that stole, let him now steal no more; but rather let him labor, work­ing with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have something to give to him that suffereth need. Continue reading

The Feast of the Dedication of the Archangel St. Michael

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The Feast of the Dedication of the Archangel St. Michael

Today’s festival is called in the breviary of the Church, the Dedication of the Holy Archangel St. Michael. To understand this, it is necessary to know an event which took place at the time of Pope Gelasius I. in the latter part of the fifth Century. In Apulia, there is a mountain formerly called Gargano, now Monte St. Angelo, or Angel’s mountain. Near this mountain, a herdsman was keeping his cattle. A steer strayed away from his herd and went into the woods on the mountain, to the entrance of a cave which was concealed by bushes. The herdsman, to drive the animal out of the cave back to the herd, shot an arrow at it. The arrow, however, turned and flew with great force back to him. The herdsman and those who were present were terrified at this and none dared to go nearer to the cave. They went to the bishop, who was at Siponto, a neighboring city, and informed him of what had occurred. The bishop, not doubting that a divine mystery was concealed under it, ordered his congregation to fast and pray three days, in order that God might graciously reveal it to them. At the expiration of the three days, St. Michael, the Archangel, appeared to the bishop and announced to him that the place whither the steer had fled was under his especial protection, and that he desired that they should dedicate the spot to the honor of God, and to the memory of St. Michael and all the Angels. Continue reading

St. Wenceslas

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St. Wenceslas, King and Martyr

St. Wenceslas, duke of Bohemia, was the son of Wratislas and Drahomira. In proportion as his father was a model of all Christian virtues, his mother was the possessor of all vices, besides being a great enemy to the Christian Religion. Wratislas, upon his dying bed, gave Wenceslas in charge of his grandmother Ludmilla, while Boleslas, his younger, was kept by Drahomira. As both women were totally different in their morals, so also the conduct of the two children became entirely unlike. Wenceslas became pious and holy; Boleslas, godless and licentious. Drahomira seized the government of the state and persecuted the Christians most cruelly. She banished the priests, dismissed the Christians from all public places, which she filled with heathens of whom the faithful had nothing to expect but cruelty. The nobles would not submit to this administration, and deposing Drahomira, placed Wenceslas on the throne, and bound themselves to him by an oath of allegiance. Drahomira, burning with rage when she perceived that the Christians were again protected by the pious Ludmilla, was determined to revenge herself. She sent some hired assassins who strangled her with her own veil, while she was at her devotions in her private chapel. Not satisfied with this murder, Drahomira sought to make away with her son Wenceslas. Continue reading

Sts. Cosmas and Damian

Sts. Cosmas and Damian

Sts. Cosmas and Damian were brothers, born of rich Christian parents, at Aegae in Cilicia. Both studied medicine, in order to have an opportunity to gain the Pagans to Christ, and encourage the Christians to virtue as well as to constancy in their faith. God blessed their medical skill to such an extent, that they became celebrated through the whole country for the happy cures which they effected, and pagans, as well as Christians had recourse to them in all dangerous diseases. They asked no fee from their patients, but served them out of love to God. When they visited a patient, they inquired into his ailings, and then cured him by making the sign of the cross over him. They even restored sight to the blind, and made the lame walk. Many heathens, healed in this manner, were converted to the Christian faith, as they not only became convinced of the power of the holy cross, but were also taught by the holy brothers who He was who had died for us on the cross. Hence these two holy physicians were rightly esteemed and honored as apostles by the Christians.

The heathens, however, regarded them as the greatest enemies of their gods: and when the Governor Lysias, by the order of Dioclesian and Maximian, came to Aegas, to exterminate the Christians there, these two brothers were the first who were denounced as magicians and corrupters of the people. Lysias called them to account, but they said fearlessly: “We are no magicians, no corrupters of the people; but in faith, Christians, and physicians by profession. We are not actuated by selfish motives, by lust of gain, in the practice of our science, as we take remuneration from no one. The happy cures we make we owe not so much to our knowledge, as to the power of Jesus Christ, whom we worship as the true God.” It was enough for the governor to know that both professed Christianity. He ordered them to be bound, whipped, and then thrown into the sea. The first of these orders was immediately most cruelly executed, but with the second he did not succeed; for, an angel of the Lord loosened the fetters of the Martyrs and brought them back to the shore, healed of the wounds which they had received in the barbarous whipping. When Lysias was informed of this, he ordered them to be burned alive. They were cast into a burning furnace, but remained unharmed. The tyrant then had them bound to a cross and commanded stones and arrows to be thrown at them; but both stones and arrows rebounded from them without doing them the least injury, while they severely wounded the heathens who were standing around. A great many were converted by this miracle. Lysias alone remained unmoved; and as he knew no other tortures, he condemned the two Saints to die by the sword.

Practical Consideration

Cosmas and Damian showed great love to the sick, but desired no recompense, because they did it all out of love to God. To labor and to suffer for the love of God is the best intention, and one we should endeavor to cultivate. It is a good and holy intention, when I do or suffer anything to escape hell, but it is a I still better one when I do or suffer anything to gain salvation. It is known that even great saints have made use of such intentions. The noblest and most excellent intention, however, is to do and suffer for the pure love of God only. Make this intention early in the morning, when you say your prayers, and renew it often during the day. Turn your thoughts frequently to the Almighty and say: “Lord, out of love to Thee! to Thy honor!” Especially ought you to do this when what you are about to do is tedious; for this intention will lighten it. Sick persons, who cannot pray much, ought to accustom themselves to repeat these words. Frequently ought they to say or think, while looking up to heaven or to the crucifix: “Lord, I bear this suffering from love to Thee! All out of love to Thee, O my God!” This will bring them consolation arid prove very meritorious. I say very meritorious, yes, even in the highest degree. It will obtain great recompense in heaven; for, St. Chrysostom assures us: “Let us not believe that we shall have no reward when we endeavor to obtain none; for, our recompense will be so much sweeter in heaven.”

Lives of the Saints: Compiled from Authentic Sources with a Practical Instruction on the Life of Each Saint, for Every Day in the Year by Rev. F. X. Weninger. Permissu Superiorum. New York: P. O’Shea, Publisher, 67 Barclay Street and 42 Park Place. 1876.