St. Ursula and Her Companions

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St. Ursula and Her Companions, Virgins

To-day we commemorate the festival of St. Ursula and her companions. Although her life and martyrdom are variously described by different historians, we cannot therefore conclude with some heretical writers, that she never existed, and that all that has been told of her are fables; for, although historians differ in some points, yet all unanimously declare that St. Ursula and her companions sacrificed their lives for their faith, and in defence of their virginity. The short sketch we give of this Saint is partly taken from the works of the celebrated Baronius, and partly from the Roman Breviary.

The Roman General, Maximus, surnamed Flavius Magnus Clemens, who commanded the Imperial armies in Great Britain, caused himself, in 383, to be proclaimed Emperor by his soldiers, while the lawful Emperor Gratian was still alive. After this, he crossed the sea, landed on the shores of France, took possession of a large portion of it, drove the inhabitants away, and occupied the land with his soldiers, among whom he divided the conquered towns and villages. Conanus, a tributary king in Great Britain, who commanded one part of the army of this new Emperor, advised him to bring from England virgins, who might be given in marriage to the new inhabitants of the conquered land, in order to keep them in obedience and fidelity to their master. Maximus, pleased with this advice, sent an embassy to Great Britain, and stating his reasons, demanded a great number of maidens. The Britons hesitated not to consent to the new Emperor’s demand, because many of his soldiers were Britons and because Maximus had given them considerable property. They, therefore, assembled the desired number of virgins, placed them in several boats, and sent them to France. The noblest among them was Ursula, daughter of the king of Wales, who was to become the spouse of Conanus. Continue reading

St. Hilarion

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St. Hilarion, Abbot
(by Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876)

(Feast Day: October 21st)

The Roman Martyrology mentions to-day, St. Hilarion, whose life was written by St. Jerome. He was born, in the year 288, at Tabatha, near Gaza in Palestine, of heathen parents. While still a boy, he was sent to Alexandria to study. Making the acquaintance of some Christians, he became converted, and from that hour, he was no more seen at the theatres of the heathens, but only in the assemblies of the faithful. His conduct was so blameless and edifying, that it put many, though born in Christianity, to shame. At that time, the austere and holy life led by St. Antony in the deserts of Egypt, was much spoken of. Hilarion was filled with the desire to see this holy man, and to learn from him how to become a Saint. Hence he went to him, observed carefully all his actions, and endeavored to follow in his footsteps. Having passed two months under so famous a teacher, he acquainted him with his wish to lead a solitary life and to serve God in a desert. Antony, praising his desire, gave him some wholesome instructions in regard to it, and then dismissed him. Hilarion returned to his native place, and as his parents had meanwhile died, he gave to the poor the large fortune which he had inherited, and went to a desert in Egypt, a mile and a half from Majuma. 
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The Church’s Year
By Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine

At the Introit of the Mass pray with the priest for the forgiveness of your sins: If thou shalt observe iniquities O Lord: Lord, who shall endure? for with thee is propitiation, O God of Israel. From the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice. (Ps. CXXIX.) Glory etc.

COLLECT O God, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all goodness, hear, we beseech Thee, the devout prayers of Thy Church, and grant that what we faithfully ask we may effectually obtain. Thro’.

EPISTLE (Philipp. I. 6-II.) Brethren, We are confident in the Lord Jesus, that he who hath begun a good work in you will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus. As it is meet for me to think this for you all, for that I have you in my heart, and that in my bands, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, you are all partakers of my joy. For God is my witness, how I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your charity may more and more abound in knowledge and in all understanding: that you may approve the better things; that you may be sincere and without offence unto the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of justice, through Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
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A Goodness that Has No Limits

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Mater Admirabilis:
A Goodness that Has No Limits

Marian Therese Horvat

It was May 1989, thirteen years ago, and a small group of pilgrims stood at the bottom of the Spanish Steps in Rome. It was a hot afternoon, right after lunch, “siesta” time when no Roman with any sense would be found traipsing the streets sightseeing. Italians have the very Catholic custom of taking naps after the midday meal. One lady in our group was insisting that we climb that mountain of stairs to see the beautiful fresco of Mater Admirabilis which is housed at the top in the Trinita dei Monti, a convent of the Religious of the Sacred Heart. And so we climbed.
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