St. Stanislaus Kostka

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St. Stanislaus Kostka, Confessor

St. Stanislaus Kostka, who, when still very young, was raised by the Almighty to great holiness, was a native of Poland, and the son of illustrious parents. Before he was born, his mother saw the holy name of Jesus upon her breast, which she regarded as a sign of the future sanctity of her unborn child. Stanislaus lived in the house of his parents until his fourteenth year, and was so innocent and pious, that all who knew him called him “Angel.” This name he deserved particularly on account of his angelic purity. All that was in the least against this virtue caused him such disgust and horror, that he sank fainting to the floor, if any one, at his father’s table, uttered an unchaste word. This happened not only once or twice, but so often, that his father would say, whenever any one made an offensive remark: “Let us change the conversation, or Stanislaus will presently kiss the floor.” He never manifested any pleasure in luxurious garments, in society, or in pastimes and amusements; his only enjoyment was prayer and study. Continue reading

ST. DIDACUS

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ST. DIDACUS

ST. DIDACUS was born in Spain, in the middle of the fifteenth century. He was remarkable from childhood for his love of solitude, and when a youth retired and led a hermit life, occupying himself with weaving mats, like the fathers of the desert. Aiming at still higher perfection, he entered the Order of St. Francis. His want of learning and his humility would not allow him to aspire to the priesthood, and he remained a lay-brother till his death, perfect in his close observance of the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and mortifying his wilt and his senses in every way that he could contrive. At one time he was sent by his superiors to the Canary Islands, whither he went joyfully, hoping to win the crown of martyrdom. Such, however, was not God’s will, and after making many conversions by his example and holy words, he was recalled to Spain. There, after a long and painful illness, he finished his days, embracing the cross, which he had so dearly loved through his life. He died with the words of the hymn “Dulce lignum” on his lips:.

p. 358

Reflection.—If God be in your heart, He will be also on your lips; for Christ has said, “From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894].

St. Martin I

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St. Martin, Pope and Martyr

From his letters, Theophanes, and especially Anastasius, in Pontific. et in ep. ad Martin. Narniens. episc. The Vener. Card. Baronius, Fleury, l. 38, et Jos. Assemani, Com. in Kalend. t. 6, p. 253.

A.D. 655.

ST. MARTIN was a native of Todi in Tuscany, and became renowned in the clergy of Rome for his learning and sanctity. Whilst he was deacon of that church he was sent by Popa Theodorus in quality of apocrisiarius or nuncio to Constantinople, where he showed his zeal against the reigning heresy of the Monothelites. Upon the death of Theodorus, after a vacancy of near three weeks, Martin was elected pope in July, 649, and, in the October following, held in the Lateran church a council of one hundred and five bishops, against the Monothelites, in which he condemned the ringleaders of that sect, particularly Sergius and Pyrrhus, who had been formerly bishops of Constantinople, and Paul, who was then in possession of that see. The Ecthesis of Heraclius and the Typus of Constans, two imperial edicts, were likewise censured: the former, because it contained an exposition of faith entirely favourable to the Monothelites; the latter, because it was a formulary by which silence was imposed on both parties, and it was forbidden by it to mention either one or two operations in Christ, “The Lord,” said the Lateran fathers, “hath commanded us to shun evil and do good; but not to reject the good with the evil. We are not to deny at the same time both truth and error.” 1 Continue reading