Our Lady of Mount Carmel

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel

(1251)

According to the most ancient Carmelite chronicles, the Order has its origins with the disciples of the prophets Elias and Eliseus. They lived in caves on Mount Carmel. They honored the Queen of Heaven as the Virgin who is to give birth to the Saviour. When the reality replaced the symbol, the pious ascetics of Carmel were converted to the Christian Faith. In the 12th century, many pilgrims from Europe who had followed the Crusaders came to join the solitaries. A rule was established and the Order began to spread to Europe. Continue reading

Saint Henry

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Saint Henry

King of Germany and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire
(972-1024)

Henry the Pious or the Lame, Duke of Bavaria, was born in 972, and bore his father’s name. Saint Wolfgang, bishop of Ratisbonne, baptized him and afterward raised him in the practices of virtue fitting for a great sovereign. His father died when his son was 23 years old, and Saint Henry assumed the paternal title of Duke of Bavaria. It was at this time that he married Cunegundes, the holy spouse whom God gave him, and who like himself is today a canonized Saint. They observed perfect chastity all their lives, and rivaled one another in their zeal and love for their subjects.
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Saint Bonaventure

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Saint Bonaventure

Cardinal-Bishop, Doctor of the Church
(† 1274)

Born in Tuscany in 1225, this frail child was given the name of John at his baptism. He soon fell so ill that his cure was despaired of, and his sorrowing mother had recourse to Saint Francis, recognized everywhere in Italy as a Saint. She promised God she would endeavor to have the child take the habit of the Franciscan Order, if he were cured. Her prayer was granted, the child was cured, and Saint Francis himself gave him his new name. In reference to the miraculous cure, he prophetically exclaimed of the infant, O buona ventura!— O good fortune! Saint Francis died a few months later, not without foreseeing the future of this little one, destined to be a seraph of love like himself. Saint Bonaventure is titled the Seraphic Doctor, from the fervor of divine love which breathes in his writings.
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Saint Anacletus

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Saint Anacletus

Pope and Martyr
(† 96)

Saint Anacletus was the second successor to Saint Peter, by whom he was converted to the faith. He was also ordained a deacon and consecrated priest by Christ’s own first Vicar, as Saint Ignatius of Antioch affirms. He was Greek by origin, born in Athens; in the year 83 he was chosen to succeed Saint Cletus, who had been martyred. The emperor Domitian had begun a violent persecution which increased in fury as time passed; but the faith of the Christians did not diminish, only receiving new force from the blood of the martyrs.
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St. Veronica

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St. Veronica

In several regions of Christendom there is honored under this name a pious matron of Jerusalem who, during the Passion of Christ, as one of the holy women who accompanied Him to Calvary, offered Him a towel on which he left the imprint of His face. She went to Rome, bringing with her this image of Christ, which was long exposed to public veneration. To her likewise are traced other relics of the Blessed Virgin venerated in several churches of the West. The belief in the existence of authentic images of Christ is connected with the old legend of Abgar of Edessa and the apocryphal writing known as the “Mors Pilati”. To distinguish at Rome the oldest and best known of these images it was called vera icon (true image), which ordinary language soon made veronica. It is thus designated in several medieval texts mentioned by the Bollandists (e.g. an old Missal of Augsburg has a Mass “De S. Veronica seu Vultus Domini”), and Matthew of Westminster speaks of the imprint of the image of the Savior which is called Veronica: “Effigies Domenici vultus quae Veronica nuncupatur”. By degrees, popular imagination mistook this word for the name of a person and attached thereto several legends which vary according to the country. Continue reading