Deacon Ed’s Message – August 2016
August 1st. is the feast day of St. Alphonso’s Mary De Liguori. He was born on September 21st. at Marianelli near Naples Italy. He was the son of a captain of the royal galleys. He received his doctorate in both canon and civil law at the University of Naples at the age of sixteen and practiced law very successfully for the next eight years. After losing an important case he decided to become a priest and joined the Oratorians and was ordained in 1726. He is credited with the founding of the Redemptories. In 1732 he organized the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists). He wrote profusely on moral theological and ascetical subjects noted as his Moral Theology. He was canonized in 1839 and was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1871 by Pope Pius IX.
August 2nd. is the feast day of St. Eusebius of Vercelli and St. Peter Julian Eymard. St. Eusebius (283-371) was born in Sardinia the son of a He was brought to Rome when and infant and raised their by his mother. He was ordained a lector and then went to Vercelli where he was elected bishop of the city in 340. He reformed his clergy and was the first Western bishop of the city. He was sent by Pope Liberius in 354 to ask Emperor Constantius to call a council to settle the difference between Catholics and Arians. He died at Vercelli on August 1,371. St. Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868) was born on February the 4th. at La Mure d’Isere near Grenoble, France. He was the son of a cutler at which trade he worked for some time. In 1831 he entered the Grenoble seminary and was ordained in 1835. For the next five year he engaged in pastoral work and joined the Marists. He served as spiritual director of the junior seminary at Belley and in 1845 was named provincial at Lyons. Always dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament he began a religious order dedicated to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. In 1864 he established a religious community whose nuns devoted themselves to perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. His congregation of priest was approved by Pope Pius IX. He died at La Mure on August the 1st. and was canonized by Pope John XXIII in 1962.
August 4th. is the feast day of St. John Vianney (1786-1859). He was born at Dardilly France on May 8, 1786. He was as shepherd on his father’s farm as a boy and was early attracted to the priesthood and at twenty years of age began his studies at Ecully, under Abbe Balley encountering great difficulties with his studies especially Latin. He was ordained in 1815 and was appointed in charge of Ars where he spent the rest of his life. He labored to improve the attitudes of his people on their religion and his war on immorality. In 1824 he opened a school for girls that later became La Providence a shelter for deserted children. He refused all honors offered him in life and died at Ars on August the 4th. He was canonized in 1925 by Pope Pius XI who made him the patron sent of parish priest in 1929.
August 8th. is the feast day of St. Dominic. He was the son of Felix Guzman and Blessed Joan of Aza. He was born at Calaruega, Spain. He studied at the University at Palencia from (1184 – 1194) and was ordained there and was appointed canon of Osman in 1199. He became the prior there superior of the chapter which adhered to the rules of St. Benedict. In 1203 he went with Bishop Diego de Avezedo of Osma to Languedoc where he preached against the Albigensians and helped reform the Cistercians. He founded an institute for women at Prouille in 1206 and attached several friars to it. When papal legate Peter of Castlenan was murdered by the Albigensians in 1208 Pope Innocent III launched a crusade against them headed by Count Simon IV of Montfort. Dominic followed the army and preached to the heretics but with little success. In 1214 Simon gave a castle in Casseneuil and Dominic and six followers founded the order which was canonically approved the following year. He later approved the blessing Of Pope Honorius III and the Order of Preachers of (the Dominicans was formed. He formed the first general counsel of the order at Bologna and died there in 1229. He was canonized 0n August 8, 1234.
August 9th. is the feast day of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She is also known as Edith Stein and was a German Jewish Philosopher who converted to the Roman Catholic Church and became a Descaled Carmelite nun. She was born on October 12,1891in Wroclaw Poland the youngest of seven in a Jewish family. In 1916 she received her doctorate of Philosophy. In 1921 in the reading of the life of St. Teresa of Avila she was led to her conversion as a Catholic. On January 1, 1922 she was baptized in St. Martin Church Berazabern Germany. In 1933 she entered the Carmelite order in the monastery in Cologne and took the religious name of St. Benedicta of the Cross. In 1934 she received the habit of a novice in the Carmelite order. On August 9, 1942 at the Auschwitz concentration camp she was burned in the ovens with her sister Rose. She was venerated on Jan 26, 1981 by Pope John Paul II She was beatified Om May 1, 1987 and canonized on October 11, 1948 by Pope John Paul II.
August 10th. is the feast day of St. Lawrence (258). He was one of the seven deacons of Rome. He was born in Huesca Spain and suffered martyrdom in Rome during the reign of Emperor Valerian who was responsible for the death of many martyrs. Among them were St. Ambrose and St. Prudentius. Lawrence was a deacon of Pope Sixtus II who was condemned to death in 258. The church of some wealth at that time he took its possessions and donated the money to the poor. He was summoned by the prefect of Rome to bring the treasures before him. St. Lawrence brought him the blind the crippled and the poor and the orphans and told him these are the church’s treasures. In rage Lawrence was bound and put on a hot griddle. He with stood the torment even commentating to his executioner to turn him over as he was well boiled on one side. According to Prudentius, his death led to the conversion of Rome and signaled the end of paganism in the city.
August 11th. is the feast day of St. Clare (1194-1253). She was born at Assisi Italy on July 11, 1194. She was the daughter of a noble Faverone Offreduccio and Ortolanadi Fiumi. She refused to marry at the age of twelve and was so impressed by a Lenten sermon by St. Francis in 1212 she ran away from home on Palm Sunday and received the habit from Frances. As he did not have a convent for women he placed her in the Benedictine convent of St. Paul near Bastia. She resisted efforts to remove her by her parents St. Frances sent her to the convent at Saint’ Angelo di Panzo where she was later joined by her sister, Agnes who also received the habit. Her father sent 12 armed men to bring her back but her Clare’s prayers rendered her so heavy they were unable to move her. In 1215 she moved to a house adjoined to St. Damiano was made superior by Frances and ruled the convent for forty years. It was here the Poor Clares order was founded. She obtained from Pope Innocent III a privileged guarantee to their absolute poverty. Thus no one could touch the land or buildings that were on it. The order established by Clare flourished to parts of Italy, France and Germany. Her influence became so great she was consulted by Popes cardinals and bishops. She next to St. Francis was responsible for the growth and spread of the Franciscan order. She died on August 11 and was canonized two years later in 1255.
August 12th. is the feast day of St. Jane Frances De Chantal (1572-1641). She was the daughter of the president of the Burgundy parliament. Benigne Fremyot was born on January 28 in Dijon France and later married Baron Christopher de Chantal when she was 20 years old. The couple had seven children by the time he died in a hunting accident 1601. She was deeply affected by St. Francis de Sales when she heard him preach. He was instrumental in convincing her in establishing the Congregation of the Visitation for young girls and widows desiring to follow the religious life. Through many difficulties the order spread over France and sixty houses were founded. She died at Moulins on December 13 after making a trip to visit Queen Anne. She was canonized in 1767. It was for her that St. Francis wrote his spiritual classic “On the Love of God”.
August 13th. is the feast day of St. Pontian and St. Hippolytus. St. Pontian (236) was a Roman son of Calpurnius. He was elected Pope to succeed Pope St. Urban I on July 21,230. He held a synod in Rome that confirmed the condemnation of Origeniism at Alexandria (231-232). At the beginning of the persecutions of Christians he was exiled to Sardinia. He resigned his office on Sept.28, 235 to allow the election of a nephew to his post. Tradition states that he was later beaten to death on August 13th. of that year. St. Hippolytus (235) was a priest at Rome noted for his learning and was possibly a disciple of St. Irenaeus. He became a major theological writer of the early church. When St. Callistus was elected Pope in 217, he allowed himself to be elected antipope opposing Callistus successors Popes Urban and Pontian as well. He was banished to Sardinia during the Emperor Maximinus persecutions of Christians in 235. He was brought back to the church by Pope Pontian. He died a martyr in Sardinia. His most important work was “A reflection of All Heresies”
August 16th. is the feast day of St. Stephen I, (975-1038). He was born at Asztergom and baptized in 985 at the age of ten. He married Gisela the sister of Duke Henry III of Bavaria. He was crowned the first King of Hungary with a crown sent to him by Pope Sylvester II. It was the crown captured in World War II by the American army and returned to Hungary by the United States in 1978. Stephen died in Hungary on August 15th. and was canonized by Pope Gregory VII in 1083.
August 19th. is the feast day of St. John Eudes(1601-1680). He was born at RI, Normandy, and France on November 14, 1601. He was the son of a farmer and went to a Jesuit college at Caen at the age of 14, despite his parents’ wishes to marry and join the Congregation of the oratory of France in 1623. He studied at Aubervilliers and was ordained in 1625. He worked as a volunteer caring for the sick of the plagues that struck Normandy in 1625 and 1631. He became an outstanding preacher and confessor, for his opposition to Jansenism. In became interested in helping fallen women and 1641 founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (the Eudists) at Caen with the help Madeleine Lamy. He found a refuge for them in Caen under the direction of the Vistandines. His approval for his work was given by Pope Alexander III. HE POPLARIZED THE Devotion to the Adorable heart of Jesus(1670) and The Admirable Heart of the Most Holy Mother of God which he finished a month before his death at Caen on August 19th. He was canonized in 1925.
August 20th. is the feast day of St. Bernard (abbot-1090-1153). He was the son of Teacelin Sorrel and Aleth, daughter of the Lord of Montbard. He was born at Fontanels les Dijon. He was the third son of seven children. Upon the death of his mother he decided to pursue the religious life. He persuaded 31 of his friends and four brothers to go with him to Citeaux, the first Cistercian monastery founded in 1098. They were welcome by the abbot St. Stephen Harding. In 1115 he was sent with 12 monks to find a Cistercian house of Langres with Bernard as abbot. Standing by the Benedictine rule he attracted scores of disciples. In 1140 Bernard began preaching in public. He roused all of Europe to the second Crusade headed by Emperor Conrad III and Louis VII of France. Called the Mellifluous Doctor he was canonized 1174 and declared a doctor of the Church in 1830.
August 23rd. is the feast day of St. Rose of Lima. Her original name was Isabel de Santa Maria de Flores she took the name Rose as her confirmation name. She was born at Lima, Peru of Spanish parents. Noted for her beauty she resisted her parents efforts to marry and model her life using St. Catherine of Siena as her model. She became Dominican tertiary and lived as a recluse. She had worked to help her parents. She experienced mystical gifts and visions of such a nature, priest and doctors were appointed to examine her. They decided they were of a supernatural origin. Stories of her holiness spread and her garden became a spiritual center of the city. When an earthquake stroke close by the people her prayers for sparing Lima. Don Gonzalo de Massa and his wife took her into their home to take care of her. She died there on August 24th. and was canonized in 1671 by Pope Clement X. On August the twenty third she became the patron saint of South America.
August 24th. is the feast day of St. Bartholomew (apostle). All that is known of him is that he is mentioned as one of the Apostles in the Gospels and Acts. His name means “son of Tolomai” and scholars believe his name is the same as Nathanael mentioned in John, who says he is from Cana and Jesus called him an Israelite. It has been stated that he preached in India and Greater Armenia where he was flayed and beheaded by King Astyages.
August 25th. is the feast day of St. Louis and St. Joseph Calasanz. St. Louis IX (1214-1270) he was born at Poissy France on the 25th. of April 1214. He was the son of King Louis VIII and Blanche of Castle. He was raised in a religious atmosphere by his mother. His father died in 1226 when Louis was only 12 years old and Blanche became regent. She defended the throne against Thibaut of Champagne and other ambitious nobles. He married Margaret, the daughter of Count Raymond Berenger of Province in 1234. He put down revolts in southern France (1243-1243) and defeated King Henry III of England at Taillebourg in1242. He went to the Holy Land in 1250 and remained there until 1254 when Blanche died, he returned to France. He set forth on a new crusade in 1270 but contracted typhoid fever soon after landing in Tunisia and died there on August 25, 1270.He was the greatest of all French kings. He was canonized in on August 25, 1297 by Pope Boniface VII. St. Joseph Calasanz (1556-1648) was the youngest son of Pedro Calasanz . He was born at his father’s castle near Peralta de la Sal, Aragon Spain on September 11, 1556. He studied at Estaadilla, the University of Lerida where he received his doctorate in law. He was ordained in 1583 despite his father’s wish that he become a soldier. He was appointed vicar general of Trempe by bishop Urgel, who sent him to reform the clergy in Pyrenses. Being successful he was appointed vicar general of the whole diocese. He later resigned the position in 1592 and went to Rome. With two priests he opened a free school in 1597 and became the supervisor of a community of teachers. An investigation of complaints about the school was so favorable that Pope Clement VIII took it under his protection as did Pope Paul V. Other schools were opened and in 1621 the community was recognized as a religious order. The last part of his life was saddened by internal dissension when a Fr. Marco Sozzi accused him of incapacity. When Sozzi died in 1643 his successor Fr. Cherubini followed his direction. Their order was torn apart by their actions and in 1645 a commission appointed by the Pope restored Joseph to the generalate. However dissension continued and in 1646 Pope Innocent X dissolved the congregation by making it a society of secular priest subject to local bishops. Joseph died a few months later in Rome on August 5, 1648. He was canonized in 1767.
August 27th. is the feast day of St. Monica (331-387). She was born at Tagaste, North Africa of Christian parents. She was married to Patricius a pagan noted for a violent temper. They had three children. Through her prayers she was able to convert Patricius and his mother in 370. She was widowed 371 and prayed for years for the conversion of St. Augustine. She followed him to Rome in 383 and then to Milan where in 386 he embraced Christianity and was baptized on Easter in 387. Monica died at Ostia Italy. She is the patron saint of married women and is regarded as a model for Christian mothers.