St. Gabriel Of Our Lady Of Sorrows Feb 27

gabriel19St. Gabriel was born in Assisi Italy in 1838 and had great intellectual gifts.  As a young man, when by the gift of God’s mercy had already been called to a more perfect life, he fell ill and began to weary of the vanity of this world.  Guided by Our Lady, he entered the Passionist congregation and chose the name Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin, in order to keep in mind continually both the Joys and Sorrows of the Virgin Mary.  Honoring her in every way, he was accustomed particularly to contemplating here as worn out and afflicted by Jesus’ sufferings, with such sorrow that he shed a flood of tears.

He kept his virginity intact and following the strict usage of his congregation, he lived wholly crucified to the world, and for God alone.  Thus he completed his short life in the exercise of all virtues; consumed by the fire of charity rather than by the force of his illness and refreshed by the aid of God’s Mother, he went to heaven at the age of 24.

Prayer To St. Gabriel

O angelic young Gabriel, who, with your ardent love for Jesus Crucified and your compassion for Our Lady of Sorrows, were on earth a mirror of innocence and an example of every virtue; we turn to you full of confidence to implore your aid. Oh! How many evil things and afflictions O how many dangers, assail our young people from every side, seeking to make them lose the faith. You, who lived always a life of faith, who amongst the temptations of the world maintained purity and virginity; turn your eyes to us, cast us a compassionate and pitying glance! Help us to have the grace to persevere in faith; we invoke your name; we cannot doubt the effactiousness of your patronage! In full confidence of our hope in you, we pray, O Sweet Saint, to obtain this particular grace for the greater glory of God and for the good of souls (here mention your request). Finally, obtain for us from Jesus Christ Crucified, through Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, resignation and peace so that we might always live the Christian life, throughout all the times of this present life, so that we might one day be happy with you in the presence of our Heavenly Father. Amen

The original author of this blog and passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.

St Simeon Feb 18

058_Presentation_FraAngelicaSt. Simeon was the “just and devout” man of Jerusalem who according to the narrative of St. Luke, greeted the infant Saviour on the occasion of His presentation in the Temple (Luke ii, 25-35). He was one of the pious Jews who were waiting for the “consolation of Israel” and, though advanced in years, he had received a premonition from the Holy Ghost, Who was in him, that he would not die before he had seen the expected Messias. This promise was fulfilled when through guidance of the Spirit he came to the Temple on the day of the Presentation, and taking the Child Jesus in his arms, he uttered the Canticle (Luke, ii, 29-32), and after blessing the Holy Family he prophesied concerning the Child, Who “is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel”, and regarding the mother whose “soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed”. As in the case of other personages mentioned in the New Testament, the name of Simeon has been connected with untrustworthy legends, viz., that he was a rabbi, the son of Hillel and the father of Gamaliel mentioned in Acts, v, 34. These distinguished relationships are hardly compatible with the simple reference of St. Luke to Simeon as “a man in Jerusalem”. With like reserve may we look upon the legend of the two sons of Simeon, Charinus, and Leucius, as set forth in the apocryphal gospel of Nicodemus.

The original author of this blog and passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.

St. Faustinus and St Jovita Martyrs Feb 15

215fampj5_zps42446b1dMartyrs, members of a noble family of Brescia; the elder brother, St. Faustinus, being a priest, St. Jovita the younger brother, a deacon. For their fearless preaching of the Gospel, they were arraigned before the Emperor Hadrian, who, first at Brescia, later at Rome and Naples, subjected them to frightful torments, after which they were beheaded at Bescia in the year 120, according to the Bollandists, though Allard (Histoire des Persécutions pendant les Deux Premiers Siècles, Paris, 1885) places the date as early as 118. 2e5d2cdb0The many “Acts” of these saints are chiefly of a legendary character. Fedele Savio, S.J. the most recent writer on the subject, calls in question nearly every fact related of them except their existince and martyrdom, which are too well attested by their inclusion in so many of the early martyrologies and their extraordinary cult in their native city, of which from time immemorial they have been the chief patrons. Rome, Bologna and Verona share with Brescia the possession of their relics. Their feast is celebrated on 15 February, the traditional date of their martyrdom.

The original author of this blog and passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.

Saint Valentine Feast Day Feb 14 Not Just Valentine Day

Saint_ValentineAt least two different Saint Valentines, both of them martyrs, mentioned in the early martyrologies under date of 14 February. One is described as a priest at Rome, another as bishop of Interamna (modern Terni), and these two seem both to have suffered in the second half of the third century and to have been buried on the Flaminian Way, but at different distances from the city.

st-valentine2St. Valentine heals an epileptic man and preaches against false gods.

In William of Malmesbury’s time what was known to the ancients as the Flaminian Gate of Rome and is now the Porta del Popolo, was called the Gate of St. Valentine. The name seems to have been taken from a small church dedicated to the saint which was in the immediate neighborhood. Of both these St. Valentines some sort of are preserved but they are of relatively late date and of no historical value. Of the third Saint Valentine, who suffered in Africa with a number of companions, nothing further is known.

valentinemosaicSaint Valentine’s Day

The popular customs associated with Saint Valentine’s Day undoubtedly had their origin in a conventional belief generally received in England and France during the Middle Ages, that on 14 February, i.e. half way through the second month of the year, the birds began to pair. Thus in Chaucer’s Parliament of Foules we read:

For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.

For this reason the day was looked upon as specially consecrated to lovers and as a proper occasion for writing love letters and sending lovers’ tokens. Both the French and English literatures of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries contain allusions to the practice. Perhaps the earliest to be found is in the 34th and 35th Ballades of the bilingual poet, John Gower, written in French; but Lydgate and Clauvowe supply other examples. Those who chose each other under these circumstances seem to have been called by each other their Valentines. In the Paston Letters, Dame Elizabeth Brews writes thus about a match she hopes to make for her daughter (we modernize the spelling), addressing the favoured suitor:

And, cousin mine, upon Monday is Saint Valentine’s Day and every bird chooses himself a mate, and if it like you to come on Thursday night, and make provision that you may abide till then, I trust to God that ye shall speak to my husband and I shall pray that we may bring the matter to a conclusion.

Shortly after the young lady herself wrote a letter to the same man addressing it “Unto my rightwell beloved Valentine, John Paston Esquire”. The custom of choosing and sending valentines has of late years fallen into comparative desuetude.

The original author of this blog and passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.

Seven Holy Founders Of Servites Feb 12

2_17_servites2

In the thirteenth century there were seven Florentine noblemen namely Buonfiglio Monaldo, Buonaiuncta Manetti, Manetto del Antella, Amadeus de Amadei, Hugo Lippi, Gerard Sostegni, and Alexis Falconieri, who withdrew to a little hut in the country to meditate on the Passion of Christ and the sorrows of His grieving Mother. The Blessed Virgin appeared to them on Good Friday holding out a dark habit which they were to wear; and she made it known that it would be most pleasing to her if they should found a new order of religious who would reverence and foster the memory of the sorrows which she had suffered as she stood beneath the Lord’s Cross. Then these holy men, with the help of St. Peter the Martyr of the Order of Preachers, founded the Order of Servants of the Blessed Virgin and, with their companions, began to go about through cities and towns, everywhere preaching Christ crucified, by word and by example. And, as one love had united them in a true brotherhood during life, one grave received them when they died, and they were venerated as one by popular devotion. Clement XI and Benedict XIII, therefore, confirmed this common veneration which had been paid to them, and Leo XIII enrolled them among the Saints.  1960 Roman Breviary

The original author of this blog and passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.