Saint Albert the Great

Saint Albert the Great

Doctor of the Church
(1207-1280)

Saint Albert the Great was born in the region of Ausgbourg, of parents rich in the goods of fortune. From the time he was a child, he manifested in his studies an unusual aptitude for the exact sciences. While he was still a boy, he had himself let down the side of a cliff to examine at close range an eagle’s nest which interested him. At the age of fifteen he was already a student of the natural sciences and the humanities at Bologna; Saint Dominic had died in that city the preceding year, 1221, and was buried in the Dominican Convent. Their house, in a suburban area of Bologna, was closely associated with the activities at the University, and students in large numbers were requesting admission to the Order.

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Dead Raymond Diocrès speaks after death

Dead Raymond Diocrès speaks after death.

Raymond Diocrès, a professor at the Sorbonne, he was a man with an universal reputation for learning and apparent virtue, died in Paris. Three days later, his coffin, beautifully adorned with the symbols of his profession, was brought into the cathedral with great solemnity, accompanied by his fellow professors, by a large group of students and clergy.

Hundreds attended the funeral service; innumerable candles were lit and prayers were offered for Diocrès by those who had admired the great knowledge and virtues of the illustrious deceased. But when the choir sung the passage in the Office of the Dead: ‘What are my faults and my sins? My misdeeds and my sins make known to me!’ which Holy Job lamented in Scripture, at which suddenly Diocrès’ corpse, lying exposed on its bier, moved before their eyes, sat up, and cried out in desperation which matched the despairation in his eyes: ‘By the judgement of God, I have been accused, judged and condemned’.

Having said this, he fell back, never to move again. Thus the world-renowned professor had hidden vice under the appearance of virtue. But God, who scrutinizes hearts, knew his sins and punished him for them.

The experience of this ghoulish phenomenon prompted St. Bruno to live a life that greatly rejected the pleasures of this world by founding a monastery in the Chartreuse Mountains, a home for the Carthusian Order. Hence the Carthusians became renowned for being the most rigorous and ascetic of all the cloistered orders. 

Our Lady of Providence

Our Lady of Providence

This title of Mary has roots in Scripture. It is often attributed to Mary’s intervention at the wedding in Cana. Christ’s first public miracle was occasioned in part by the intercession of his mother. She helped through her foresight and concern to avoid an embarrassing situation for the newlywed couple. Our Lady of Providence is sometimes also identified as Queen of the Home.

The reader’s attention is called to a touching detail peculiar to Gaetano’s Madonna: that the Christ Child is confidently clasping His Mother’s fingers. Which the Barnabites interpret this pose to be a symbol of the sacred source of the power of the Mother of God. The Child seems to say, “Mother dear, I place in thy hands the authority to act in My name. From My infinite treasure-house do thou provide good things to all who implore thy aid.” Hence her title.

Prayer to Our Lady of Providence, Queen of the Home

Our Lady of Providence, I place in thy hands our beloved home. As thou art the queen of the Holy Family at Nazareth, be queen of our home. Keep our home ties unbroken–today, tomorrow, and forever, Amen. 

Saint Josaphat

Saint Josaphat

Archbishop and Martyr
(1584-1623)

Born in 1584 in Vladimir, a city of ancient Poland, Saint Josaphat was the son of Gabriel Kuncewicz. His was a family of honorable Christians of the Greco-Slavic rite, in use among the Russians. His mother took care to raise him in the fear of God, and in his tender heart formed the first longings for virtue. He was never in any way lightheaded, but separated willingly from the games of his companions to pray. He made excellent progress in his studies, always preferring the sacred branches to the profane, and for thirty years he recited each day, without ever failing even once to do so, a large section of the Divine Office which he learned by heart.

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