St. Raymond of Penafort

Image may contain: 1 person, indoor

St. Raymond of Penafort, Confessor

St. Raymond, sprung from the noble race of Penafort, was born at Barcelona, in Catalonia, in the year 1175. Even in early childhood his only delight was in prayer and study, and when but a mere youth he was so advanced in learning as to be deservedly appointed to instruct others. Subsequently he devoted himself to canon and civil law, and soon excelled the most celebrated jurists of his time.

At Bologna he lectured publicly and gratuitously. At this time, Berengarius, Bishop of Barcelona, happening to pass through Bologna, and hearing of Raymond’s wide-spread fame, persuaded him to return to his native land, where he first installed him as canon, subsequently, however, as provost. Nor did the Bishop hesitate to consult him in his most important affairs. Continue reading

Saint Vincent

Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr

Vincent, the Victorious, vested in the sacred dalmatic, and holding his palm in his hand, comes, today, to his Jesus’ Crib, and right welcome is he to Stephen, the Crowned, his leader and his brother. Spain is his country. He is a Deacon of the glorious Church of Saragossa, and, by the strength and warmth of his faith, he is a type of that land, which is, by excellence, the Catholic Kingdom, But he does not belong to Spain only: like Stephen, and like Laurence, Vincent is the favourite and hero of the whole Church. Stephen, the Deacon, preached the divinity of Jesus amidst the shower of stones which were hurled upon him as a blasphemer; Vincent, the Deacon, confessed his faith in Jesus upon his red-hot gridiron, as did that other Deacon, Laurence. This triumvirate of Martyr-Deacons cluster together in the sacred Litany, and when we hear their three grand names, the Crown, the Laurel, and the Conqueror, we hail them as the three bravest Knights of our most dear Lord. Continue reading

Saint Agnes

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting

Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr

How rich is the constellation of Martyrs, which shines in this portion of the sacred Cycle. Yesterday, we had St. Sebastian; tomorrow, we shall be singing the name which means Victory, for it is the Feast of Vincent; and now, today, between these two rich palm-branches, we are rejoiced with the lovely rose and lily-wreath of Agnes. It is to a girl of thirteen that our Emmanuel gave this stern courage of martyrdom, which made her meet the enemy with as bold a front as either the valiant Captain of the Pretorian band or the dauntless Deacon of Saragossa. If they are the soldiers of Jesus, she is his tender and devoted Spouse. These are the triumphs of the Son of Mary! Scarcely has He shown himself to the world, and lo! every noble heart flies towards Him, according to that word of his: Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together (St. Matth. xxiv. 28).

It is the admirable result of the Virginity of His Blessed Mother, who has brought honour to the fecundity of the soul, and set it far above that of the body. It was Mary that first opened the way, whereby certain chosen souls mount up even to the Divine Son, and fix their gaze, in a cloudless vision, on His beauty; for He Himself said: Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God. Continue reading