St. Mennas

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St. Mennas, Martyr

THE EDICTS of Dioclesian were rigorously executed in the East, when Mennas or Menas, an Egyptian by birth, a soldier in the Roman troops, then quartered at Cotyæus in Phrygia, was apprehended, and, boldly confessing his faith, cruelly scourged, then tormented in the most inhuman manner on the rack, and at length beheaded, by the command of Pyrrhus, the president, probably about the year 304. His name has been always very famous in the calendars of the church, especially in the East. See the first acts of this martyr, translated in Surius, who borrowed them from Metaphrastes. They begin, [Greek], and are warmly defended and extolled by Falconius, p. 30. The second acts in Surius, ascribed to Timothy, patriarch of Alexandria, in 380, deserve little credit. (See Tillem. t. 5. in Peter of Alex. n. 4.) Lambecius mentions other acts of this saint, t. 8. p. 269. See Fabricius Bibl. Gr. t. 6. p. 548. 1

Another ST. MENNAS, martyr in Lybia, under Maximian, is named in the Eastern and Western Martyrologies on the 10th of December. Procopius (l. 1. de ædif. Justin.) mentions a church built at Constantinople by Justinian, in honour of St. Mennas, whose body was translated thither. This Baronius understands of the Lybian; Jos. Assemani of Mennas, the soldier under Dioclesian. (t. 5. p. 461.) The acts of Mennas the Lybian, in Surius, are of no authority. 2

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume XI: November. The Lives of the Saints. 1866. November 11.


Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces

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Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

This devotion honors Our Lady as a cooperating agent in the plan of God from the Incarnation of Jesus Christ to the Redemption. Mary was the intermediary between Jesus and St. John the Baptist, sanctifying him before his birth. She was the one who asked Christ to make His first miracle at the wedding of Canaan before his public life had begun.

A golden statue of Our Lady holding the Christ Child

Our Lady is Mediatrix

During the Passion, she followed Him in every step of his sufferings, showing us that she was associated in the mission of reparation for the sins of mankind. After the Resurrection, the Holy Ghost descended upon her first, and then upon the Apostles, showing that she was the mediatrix of the graces for the nascent Church. By her divine maternity Mary became Co-Redemptix, taking on the role of Mediatrix of all graces.

In 1921 Pope Benedict XV instituted November 8 as the feast day of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces.

A text by St. Louis Grignion de Montfort expresses this truth admirably:  Continue reading


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

REMARK The Mass of this Sunday is always the last, even if there are more than twenty-four Sundays after Pentecost; in that case the Sundays remaining after Epiphany, which are noticed in the calendar, are inserted between the twenty-third and the Mass of the twenty-fourth Sunday.

The Introit of the Mass is the same as that said on the twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost.

COLLECT Quicken, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, the wills of Thy faithful: that they, more earnestly seeking after the fruit of divine grace, may more abundantly receive the healing gifts of Thy mercy. Thro’.

EPISTLE (Col. I. 9—14.) Brethren, We cease not to pray for you, and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of the will of God, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding: that you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God: strengthened with all might according to the power of his glory, in all patience and long-suffering with joy, giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins. Continue reading

SS. Trypho and Respicius

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SS. Trypho and Respicius, Martyrs, and Nympha, Virgin

TRYPHO and RESPICIUS were natives of Bithynia, at or near Apamea, and upon the opening of Decius’s persecution, in 250, were seized, loaded with chains, and conducted to Nice, where Aquilinus, governor of Bithynia, and prefect of the East, then resided. After some days’ confinement they were brought to their trial before him, and upon their confession of their faith, an officer that stood by them told them, that all who refused to offer sacrifice were to be burnt alive, and exhorted them to have compassion on themselves. Respicius answered: “We cannot better have compassion on ourselves than by confessing Jesus Christ, the true judge, who will come to call every one to an account for all their actions.” Aquilinus told them they were old enough to know what they ought to do. “Yes,” said Trypho, “and therefore we desire to attain to the perfection of true wisdom by following Jesus Christ.” The judge ordered them to be put on the rack. The martyrs, to express their readiness to suffer, forthwith stripped themselves, and stepped forward with surprising alacrity. They bore the torture near three hours with admirable patience and tranquillity; and only opened their mouths to invoke God, and extol his mercy and power; and to give the judge to understand to what dangers he exposed himself by his blindness. When they were taken down from the rack, Aquilinus, who was going out on a party of hunting, ordered them to be tied to the tails of horses, and led out into the fields, naked and torn and bruised all over as they were, that they might be exposed in that condition to the cold air; for it was winter, and the severity of the frost was so great that they were disabled from walking or standing without exquisite pain, for their feet were cloven by it. After this torment the governor asked them if they did not yet relent; and finding their constancy invincible, ordered them again to prison, threatening them that they should be treated with the utmost rigour. Soon after this, Aquilinus set out to make the tour of some other cities that were under his jurisdiction, and at his return to Nice called for the two prisoners, and promising them great riches and honours if they complied, conjured them to consider their own good before it was too late. The martyrs, who had only God before their eyes, replied: “We cannot better follow your advice, and consider our own good, than by persevering firm in the confession of the name of Jesus Christ.” Aquilinus finding himself defeated in all his attacks, in a fit of impotent rage commanded their feet to be pierced with large nails, and the martyrs to be dragged in that condition in the cold weather through the streets. He who is the strength of martyrs, gave them a courage superior to the malice of the enemy. The governor, surprised and confounded at their meek patience, ordered them to be whipped; which was done until the executioners were wearied. This enraged the judge still more, and he commanded their flesh to be torn with hooks, and afterwards lighted torches to be applied to their sides, the saints remaining the same in the midst of these torments, the governor cried out to the tormentors, bidding them exert their skill in torturing the obstinate wretches in the most exquisite manner. But the saints were invincible and prayed thus: “Lord Jesus Christ, for whom we fight, suffer not the devil to vanquish us: strengthen and enable us to finish our course. The combat is yours: may the victory be yours.” The next day they were examined a third time, and being as constant as before, were beaten with plummets of lead, and afterwards beheaded in the year 250. See their authentic, though not original acts in Ruinart, Tillemont, t. 3, &c. Those in Metaphrastes are counterfeit. 1
With these two martyrs, the Roman Martyrology joins ST. NYMPHA, because her body reposes with theirs at Rome. She was a virgin of Palermo in Sicily, and, in the invasion of the Goths, in the fifth century, fled into Italy, where she served God in great sanctity, and died in peace at Suana in Tuscany. The Greeks honour St. Trypho on the 1st of February, and there stood formerly a church in Constantinople, near that of Sancta Sophia, which bore his name. 1 The ancient church of St. Trypho in Rome, being fallen to decay in 1604, it was united to the church of St. Austin, which is now possessed of part of the relics of these three saints. But the principal parts of those of SS. Trypho, Respicius, and Nympha, repose under the high altar in the church of the Holy Ghost in Saxia, belonging to a great hospital in Rome. This street lying between St. Peter’s church and the Tiber, is called Saxia, from a colony of Saxons whom Charlemagne, after he had defeated them in Germany, placed there, 2 that they might be instructed in the faith. 2

Note 1. Assemani Calend. Univ. in 1 Febr. t. 6, p. 112.
Note 2. See Roma Modern. p. 62. Baron. Not. in Martyrol. Rom.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume XI: November. The Lives of the Saints. 1866. November 10


St. Andrew Avellino

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St. Andrew Avellino, Confessor

A.D. 1608.

ST. ANDREW AVELLINO was a native of Castro Nuovo, a small town in the kingdom of Naples, and born in 1520. In his infancy he gave early tokens of the most happy dispositions to virtue. At school he had the fear of God always before his eyes, and dreaded the very shadow of the least sin. A beautiful complexion exposed his chastity to several snares and dangers; which he escaped by assiduous prayer, mortification, watchfulness over himself, and care in shunning all dangerous company. To pretend a desire to serve God, and resist the world and vice, without a strenuous application to all the exercises of virtue, especially penance and prayer, he called a vain and foolish illusion. In the straight passage which leads to life we are sure to meet with many temptations and persecutions, which the world and the devil will not fail to raise against us. And, as watermen, who row against the wind and tide, exert their whole strength in plying their oars, so must we strive with all our might to maintain and daily gain ground against our malicious enemies, and the unruly sway of our passions. If any one lets go his hold, his soul, like a boat driven with the tide, will speedily be hurried into the gulf from which he may never be recovered. Andrew never looked back, and never lost sight of the goal to which he strove happily to arrive. After mature deliberation he took the ecclesiastical tonsure, and was sent to Naples to study the civil and canon law. Being there promoted to the degree of doctor in laws, and to the dignity of the priesthood, he began to plead such causes in the ecclesiastical court, as the canons allow clergymen to undertake. This employment, however, engrossed his thoughts, too much dissipated his mind, and insensibly weakened his affection for holy meditation and prayer. A fault into which he fell opened his eyes, and made him see the precipice which lay before him. Once in pleading a cause, in a matter indeed which was of no weight, a lie escaped him; for which, upon reading these words of holy scripture, The mouth that lieth killeth the soul, he was struck with so great remorse and deep compunction, that he resolved immediately to renounce his profession, and to give himself up entirely to a penitential life, and to the spiritual care of souls. This he did with so great ardour, that his whole conduct was a model of perfect virtue. 1 Continue reading