The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

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The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

This festival was instituted in commemoration of the day on which the holy Cross of Christ, was, with great solemnities, brought back to Jerusalem. Chosroes, king of Persia, had invaded Syria with a powerful army, and had conquered Jerusalem, the capital. He caused the massacre of eighty thousand men, and also took many prisoners away with him, among whom was the Patriarch Zachary. But more painful than all this to the Christians was, that he carried away the holy, Cross of our Saviour, which, after great pains, had been discovered by the holy empress, St. Helena. The pagan king carried it with him to Persia, adorned it magnificently with pearls and precious stones, and placed it upon the top of his royal throne of pure gold. Thus was the holy Cross held in higher honor by the heathen king, than Martin Luther would have manifested; for, in one of his sermons, he says of it: “If a piece of the holy Cross were given to me and I had it in my hand, I would soon put it where the sun would never shine on it.”
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St. Catherine of Genoa

St. Catherine of Genoa, Widow

CATHERINE or Catterinetta Fieschi Adorno, was born at Genoa in 1447. Her father, James Fieschi, died viceroy of Naples under Renatus of Anjou, king of Sicily. 1 From the first dawn of her reason, she appeared to be a child of spiritual benedictions. By a singular privilege of divine grace, and the attention of virtuous parents, she seemed from the cradle entirely exempt from frowardness, and little passions of anger or the like vices, with which infancy itself is often stained. It was something still more admirable and more edifying in her, to see a tender child, to join with the most perfect simplicity of heart, and obedience to her parents and others, a serious love of prayer, the most heroic practices of self-denial, and the most tender devotion, particularly towards the sacred passion of Christ. That at twelve years of age she was favoured by God with extraordinary supernatural comforts and illustrations of the Holy Ghost in prayer, we are assured by her own testimony. Experience teaches, that by humble obedience, and fervent love of prayer, the most tender age is capable of making great advancement in the paths of divine love and interior solid virtue; and that the Holy Ghost delights wonderfully to communicate himself to those who so early open their hearts entirely to him. But whilst he attracts them after the sweet odour of his ointments, he prepares them for the most severe trials, which furnish them with occasions for the exercise of the most heroic virtues, and perfects the crucifixion of inordinate attachments in their hearts. This conduct of divine providence St. Catherine experienced. 1 Continue reading

St. Maurilius

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St. Maurilius, Bishop of Angers, Confessor

IN the fifth century, leaving a large estate and a tender mother at Milan, in order to serve God in holy retirement, he addressed himself to St. Martin of Tours, by whom he was directed in the narrow path of Christian perfection. He founded a monastery on a hill called Prisciac, near the village Calon on the Loire, four miles from Angers, to which he often retired, even after he was made bishop, and where, after his death, his body rested, and was held in great veneration till it was translated from this church, which bore his name, into that of St. Martin, by Neising, bishop of Angers, about the year 970. It is there exposed in a rich shrine, and has been honoured with many miracles. His life was written by St. Magnobodus, bishop of Angers, about two hundred years after his death, and by others. That which bears the name of St. Gregory of Tours does not seem to be his work. See the Bollandists, p. 64, who prefer his life by Magnobodus. 1

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume IX: September.
The Lives of the Saints. 1866. September 13